Home environment Selfie with starfish lands Chinese tourists in Thailand jail

Selfie with starfish lands Chinese tourists in Thailand jail

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After they posted their photographs and videos on social media on Friday, marine protection officials reported them to the police.

In recent years, Thailand’s authorities have become increasingly proactive in protecting its marine environment. Picture: EPA/BARBARA WALTON

BANGKOK – Two Chinese tourists, whose photographs holding starfish surfaced on social media, were jailed and fines were also imposed upon them, reported Bangkok Post.

Two Chinese tourists were reported to the police after images of them stepping on coral reefs and holding up starfish for selfies while on a diving excursion off Koh Racha Yai appeared.

Sanyang Qin and Wen Zhang were taken by a representative of the travel agency to meet investigators at the Chalong station, according to police.

On Thursday, while they were diving at Ao La off Koh Racha Yai, three Chinese tourists were accused of holding up starfish and climbing on coral reefs to snap photographs.

After they posted their photographs and videos on social media on Friday, marine protection officials reported them to the police.

An inquiry conducted by the Phuket Marine and Coastal Resource Conservation Centre revealed that the accused had actually committed the crime.

The two tourists admitted to wrongdoing when being questioned. They were accused by police of disobeying a ministerial directive for the preservation of marine resources on the islands of Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi.

Police intend to bring them before the court after gathering evidence. The remaining tourist sought for the same offence is being sought out by authorities.

In recent years, Thailand’s authorities have become increasingly proactive in protecting its marine environment.

From new rules and regulations aimed to protect its coral reefs and endangered marine species to shutting down entire islands to help their environment recover from mass tourism.

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