Hello everyone, hello community.
My name is René and I'm a backpacker who been out and about for some 5 months now. Should have been home media march.
I currently find myself in a terrible unfortunate situation with the authorities in Thailand. I have as of now been detained in the country for almost three weeks, the authorities have my passport and preventing me to leave.
It seems I have unintentionally broken the law and I'm now being charged with possession of ammunition - please study my fotos.
There is no question about that I was indeed in possession of these items I have taken the pictures you have seen. I bought them as souvenirs in Laos not realizing that such items are illegal to be in possession of. I bought them in good faith with intentions to use them as candlelight and bookend.
As you are seeing these fotos you all might think that I'm stupid for bringing them to an airport and in hindsight I can only agree.
I was however not completely blind to the attention and potential suspicion that these items will have, alone because of their shapes so I went to the airport with the best intentions of doing everything right.
I arrived 5 hours prior to check in to speak with the airport security and authority so not to cause any unnecessary commotion and spread any fears, willing to spend time and money to have these items cleared.
While I was speaking with the airport security I felt things are going well. They were willing to approve and actually cleared my first two items - the two identical ones.
It was while we were debating the third item that I suddenly find myself surrounded by the Thai police arresting me and depriving me of my passport. It was all very confusing and very much lost in translation.
As I later have learned it is indeed illegal to poses ammunition in this country and these do indeed fall into such a category. In fact these fall under the category of military ammunition which is for me even worse.
My only line of defense is that I wasn't aware, that I'm ignorant or uninformed or whatever self blaming. I think my actions speaks of my unawareness if this and my best intentions, because trust me dear reader I'm not in the habit of approaching authorities only to incriminate myself any less then I'm sure you are.
I can't help but feeling beaten down by the injustice in this. Surely someone must have recognized this a scrap metal and would have thought a confiscation of my items which are more then 55 years of age, would be enough.
I've been appointed a lawyer who's working pro bono for me since three weeks now. He has managed to get the authorities to agree to a do not prosecute deal.
I am currently completely unable to cover my representation and my fine for my transgression to keep me out of Thai prison
This then only leaves me with options of facing trial for which there are no guarantees since I clearly broke the law and I'm looking at possibly convictions. If sentenced I'm facing a possibility of 10 years the minimum time is 1 year.
I am just an ordinary guy, I'm working minimum wages and I possess nothing in this world that carries any kind of value that I could sell to help me pay for this.
The only thing I can think of is if someone would buy my television - it's from 1999 or perhaps someone would buy my DVD collection despite these times of streaming, but those are my earthly possessions.
My home is a small 1 bedroom rental, I have no car, no motorcycle, I don't even have a drivers license but use an old beaten up bicycle.
So I do think I'm an average ordinary guy just trying to get through life, the only thing that perhaps makes me a little different from others is that I have learned that my taste in souvenirs are questionable and perhaps out of the ordinary.
Please help me with my legal fees in Thailand to keep me out of jail and free. Every dollar every dime can and will help me.
Thank you so much for your consideration.
Finally a warning word of advice to fellow travelers. Even wearing an empty bullet cartridge in a necklace is considered illegal possession of ammunition and therefore a considered crime out here.
- Stevan Svadil
- Paul Wilson
- Louise Bruun-Gazelleh
- Martin Nolfi
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