French seasteader blacklisted and has visa revoked

The Thai Immigration Bureau has revoked the non-immigrant visa of a French Polynesian and blacklisted him after it was discovered that he and his Thai wife had built a floating shelter in the sea off Phuket’s Racha Island with a plan to set up a sovereign seastead settlement there.

It was reported that the Frenchman, Chad Andrew Elwartowski, had already left Thailand for an unknown destination, but Thai immigration officials believe he is still in Thailand.

Phuket Governor Pakpong Thaveepat held a special meeting today with authorities, including the provincial prosecutor, security officers from the Internal Security Operations Command, police, immigration officials and naval officers from the Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet, to discuss the planned seastead settlement after it was discovered last week in the sea about 12 nautical miles from Racha Island.

Members of the RTN’s Third Fleet boarded the floating structure but did not find anybody there. The Navy has expressed concern about the Frenchman’s plan to build a sovereign seastead settlement there posing a national security threat.  The structure could also endanger vessels as it is located in a busy shipping lane.

The Third Fleet has lodged a complaint with Phuket police demanding legal action to be taken against the Frenchman and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl.

Phuket immigration chief, Pol Col Kathathorn Kamthiang, said that the French seasteader has a non-immigrant visa allowing him to stay in Thailand for 90 days, after which he can ask for an extension, adding that the Immigration Bureau had decided to revoke his visa and put his name on the blacklist.

In the next step, he said the police would try to locate the Frenchman to inform him of his blacklisted status.

Governor Pakpong said, after the meeting, that officials had been ordered to investigate if the builder of the floating structure has an operating license or not.


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