Pha Ngan Island, Surat Thani-
A Hungarian man is facing legal action after he touched a pipefish while he was diving at Pha Ngan Island.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Office told the Phuket Express that a video clip was posted on a YouTube channel this week with the message “Scuba Diving in Paradise, Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand”.
The diver was touching a pipefish which is illegal to touch or catch the pipefish by law. The DMCR filed a report to the Koh Pha Ngan Police and the video went viral on Thai social media, with many Thai nationals outraged. Some critics, however, said the diving company or boat operator should have properly warned the man. However, the man was not a tourist and was an ex-pat, the DMCR stated.
The diver was later identified by police as a Hungarian man although they did not release his name to the public. He has a Thai wife and lives on Pha Ngan Island as an ex-pat.
His passport is being kept with police to prevent escape from Thailand while an investigation continues.