Russian fugitive arrested in Phuket

From the Phuket News:

PHUKET: A Russian fugitive who was wanted in his home country for fraud and extortion relating to demands for “protection fees” from his countrymen amounting over B60 million has been arrested by Phuket Immigration police in front of a gym in Nai Harn.

Eldar Gassanguseynov was arrested in the car park of Nai Harn Gym in Rawai.

The announcement of the arrest of 29-year-old Eldar Gassanguseynov came at a press conference held yesterday (Nov 4).

At the press conference, Phuket Immigration Chief Col Sanchai Chokkhayaikit said that Eldar was wanted on an Interpol Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, for fraud. It is alleged he was part of an organised criminal group which demanded “protection fees” from people in Russia.

Col Sanchai said, “Officers spotted him in a the car park of Nai Harn Gym on Wiset Rd in Rawai. When asked by police, Eldar confirmed that he is the wanted man so they took him to the immigration office.”

During questioning, police learned that Eldar had first entered Thailand in 2014. However, he said that he had moved between Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Thailand with relatives since that time.

Col Sanchai went on to say, “We take the Immigration Bureau’s ‘Good guys in, Bad guys out’ campaign very seriously. It is also a peace and order policy of the the national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda to regularly tackle international crime and criminals who seek refuge in Thailand.

“We discovered that Eldar has been living in Thailand on an expired visa so he will be taken to Chalong Police Station and charged with living in Thailand illegally before we hand over him to Interpol,” said Col Sanchai.

Bill Roberts, Managing Director of Nai Harn Gym, refuted reports that Eldar was hired to work as a trainer at the gym.

“The person in question was a member of Nai Harn Gym, but in no way was employed by our facility,” he told The Phuket News this morning.

Only the finest people in lovely Phuket…