23 May 2024

A British man was arrested for allegedly arranging for his friends to flood an Italian restaurant in Phuket with false one-star reviews after a dispute with the owner.

The British national, identified only as Alexander, 21, reportedly wanted to use the restaurant as a convenient shortcut to his accommodation in 2022. However, the owner barred him from doing so because he was not a paying customer, according to the New York Post online.

As revenge, Alexander is said to have enlisted his friends’ help in flooding the restaurant with negative reviews, plunging its rating from 4.8 to 3.1 out of 5 stars.

The Central Investigation Bureau arrested Alexander at his new apartment in Bangkok on May 9, after the owner filed a complaint with the Sakhu Police Station in Phuket’s Thalang district claiming the fake reviews had caused damage to the restaurant’s finances and reputation.

The arrest warrant was issued against Alexander on August 2023 for ‘entering false computer data likely to cause damage to the general public’.

Police Major Jomparit Kaewreung of the Crime Suppression Division said, “The suspect was handed over to the inquiry officer of Sakhu Police Station for further legal action. During the interrogation, he has denied the charges.”