In a clip that made the internet rounds this weekend, two foreign men are seen on CCTV defacing Thai flags in Krabi.
The one-minute clip, originally posted by Facebook user Anake Saranath, appears to be taken outside of a business and the timestamp on the footage says that it happened at 3:29am on Saturday morning.
In it, the men are sitting at the far end of the camera’s view before walking further into the frame. A tall caucasian man rips down a Thai flag and throws it to the ground. Next, a shorter caucasian man walks up to the flags and rips down three more. The second man appears angry while the first man seems quite casual about defacing a national symbol of Thailand.
He probably shouldn’t be though. The men could face prison sentences and fines.
The Krabi police vowed to find the two men after the clip was shared to YouLike and watched 336,000 times and received 771 comments, none of them nice. The comments that could be repeated including warnings to the men to be careful when traveling abroad and thoughts about respecting places that you visit. Facecbook user Hailin Zhong said, “How can both of you have the bad behavior like this. Here is our beloved country. Thai flag is a symbol of Thailand. Bad guys like you are not welcome to our country and any places in the world except your own country. Get away! Hate you!”
Twelve hours ago, the two men were found and Anake Saranath was there to post about it again and call the men, who turned out to be Italian tourists, “two animals.”
They were reported to be 18 and 20 years old.
Another user, Pradit Rodkerd, who appears to be a Krabi police officer, posted a video of the two Italians apologizing. In the video, they wai before saying, “We are really sorry about that, we didn’t mean it at all. We are from another country. In our country, the flag isn’t so important. We were really, really drunk. We like the Thai people, we like the Thai country, we like everything but we didn’t know about that law. We just want to say that we’re really, really sorry. Khor thot krub.”
The video was posted five hours ago and has 165,000 views. The comments section was littered with swears and harsh words for the men and it didn’t seem that Thai netizens were in a very forgiving mood.
They are being charged with damaging another person’s property and flag desecration. The punishment they will be given is not yet known.