General News

British man arrested for begging on Koh Phangan island

Thai police arrested a British man after he allegedly begged for money outside a convenience store on Koh Phangan, an island in the southern province of Surat Thani.

Locals on Koh Phangan reported to authorities after seeing a foreign man begging outside a 7-Eleven convenience store and using drugs in the area. Officers from the Koh Phangan Police Station and the Tourist Police went to the store near the Phan Thip Market and arrested the foreigner yesterday, April 17.

The foreign beggar was identified as a 47 year old Englishman named Nicholas James Hartas. He was found sitting shirtless outside the store with a paper sign that said, “If you can. Please! Money for food.

Police checked Hartas’s criminal history and found that he had escaped arrest in a drug case in Koh Samui and sought refuge in Koh Phangan. Hartas confessed to fleeing from the arrest in Koh Samui, stating that he resorted to begging for food. However, residents informed the police that the majority of the money earned from begging was used to purchase drugs.

Officers did not report whether they conducted a drug test on Hartas or found any drugs in his possession. According to, Hartas faced two charges:

  • Section 13 of the Begging Control Act: illegally begging. The penalty is imprisonment of up to one month or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.
  • Section 145 of the Narcotics Control Act: possessing Category 1 drug (methamphetamine). The penalty is imprisonment from two to 20 years and a fine of 200,000 to 2 million baht.

Read the full story at Bangkok Post – Briton arrested for drug abuse on Koh Phangan which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

Photo credit @ Bangkok Post Assawin Pakkawan

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