Prawit orders action against seasteading settlement off Phuket
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has ordered the Royal Thai Navy and security agencies to take action against the planned seasteading settlement on the high seas off Phuket in accordance with international standards of practice and to ensure the protection of Thai natural resources.
Frenchman Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs.Nadia Summergirl, had erected a floating housing unit as part of his ambitious plan to build a sovereign seasteading settlement on the high seas about 22.2 km from Phuket’s Racha Island.
Thai authorities, however, found the floating structure blocking a shipping lane and deemed the project a threat to national security, prompting the Thai Immigration Bureau to revoke the non-immigrant visa of the Frenchman and add his name to a blacklist as police search for the couple.
Defence Ministry spokesman Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said today that General Prawit, in his capacity as Defence Minister, and security agencies will consult the law to determine whether the sovereign seasteading community, planned by Elwartowski’s Ocean Builders Company, constitutes a violation of Thai law regarding natural resources protection because the project is located in Thailand’s exclusive economic zone.
He alleged that the French seasteader appeared to exploit a loophole in international law to build a sovereign seasteading settlement on the high seas near Thailand.