Officers from Muang Krabi Police Station, accompanied by immigration and tourist police, arrested the men identified only as Tobias, 20, and Ian, 18, this morning (Jan 9) according to Thai media.
They were apprehended at a guesthouse on Soi Maharaj 2 in Pak Nam subdistrict, just two sois from where the incident took place.
During interrogation, the two tourists allegedly admitted to being the men on the videos, saying the incident happened after they left a pub. They were very drunk and could not remember what they had done.
The Italian tourists performed a wai and apologised to Krabi residents and the Thai public for what happened.
“We were really very drunk, we like the Thai people and we like the Thai culture,” Tobias told local media.
“We didn’t know about the [flag protection] law. And we just want to say we're really very sorry.”
Lt Khunsawai Khunno, Deputy Investigation Chief at Muang Krabi Police Station, said the men were initially charged with colluding to damage other people’s property and desecrating the national flag.
The incident occurred in front of shophouses decorated with national flags on Soi Maharaj 4 at 3:30am on Saturday (Jan 7). Ian was filmed pulling on a hanging flag and Tobias ripped down four more flags including the one grabbed by his friend who looked on, laughing. Tobias later pushed two flower pots while walking away.
Under the Thai criminal law, anyone found guilty of desecrating flags or state symbols is subject to a jail term not exceeding two years and a fine up to B4,000 or both.
The Thai Flag Act also stipulates penalties – a six-month prison term and a B1,000 fine – for such actions.
Read original story here.