Koh Kut luxury resort denies foreign directors fled fire charges

FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2022

The operator of Soneva Kiri Resort on Friday denied that two of its foreign directors had fled, after police announced charges in connection with a fire at the resort on March 6.

Deputy police chief Sompong Chingduang said on Thursday that resort manager Tropical Island Ltd and its three directors would be charged with negligence resulting in injuries and damage from the fire.

The blaze at the ultra-luxury resort on Koh Kut island, Trat province, left two guests seriously injured and caused damage worth 34 million baht to guests’ property, including jewellery and luxury watches.

Sompong said a Thai director had responded to the charges by surrendering to police. However, the other two directors, both UK nationals, are still missing and police believe they may have fled the country.

In a statement, the resort denied that police had accused its foreign directors of any wrongdoing or issued warrants for their arrest.

“In addition, our foreign directors are not residents of Thailand, and they were not in the country at the time,” the statement said.

It also claimed that press reports detailing the number of accusations levelled at the resort were inaccurate.

The resort said that according to its insurance company’s policy, compensation claims could not be paid out until the investigation is concluded.

“To date, we have not been officially informed that the police investigation has been concluded. Moreover, the cause of the fire has also not been officially communicated to us. We will continue to comply with any requests from the authorities, including the Trat Province Police Department when we are notified of the outcome,” said the resort.

It added that its insurance company was in close communication with the guests affected by the fire and had requested supporting documents in order to proceed with their claims.