‘Missing’ Portuguese expat found in Bangkok psych ward

Alexandre Freitas. Photo: Stuart Holden / Facebook
Alexandre Freitas. Photo: Stuart Holden / Facebook

A Portuguese man who went missing eight days ago was found today in a Bangkok psychiatric ward.

Alexandre Freitas, 27, turned out to be held at the Somdet Chao Phraya Hospital in the capital’s Khlong San district after being accused of shoplifting an expensive pair of sunglasses, according to a friend who reported him missing and described him as unstable.

“He walked into Emporium and, because of his sick state, tried to take sunglasses worth THB30,000,” Stuart Holden told Coconuts this morning. “However, upon reaching the holding cell, he went insane, took his clothes off and was transported to a psych ward to be evaluated.”

His information came from a woman who notified him of Freitas’ whereabouts after Holden offered a THB30,000 reward yesterday on social media.

That woman – Khlongfang Klangthung on Facebook – told Coconuts she went into private detective mode after seeing Holden’s post in a popular expat community. She said she used information in the post to track Freitas to the Emquartier shopping mall, where she inquired with local police who told her that it was actually Monday night that Freitas was taken to the Thonglor Police Station after being accused of nicking the shades (She said he unintentionally walked off without paying due to his state of mind).

Holden said Freitas experiences audio and visual hallucinations. Khlongfang said that she had been in touch with Freitas family, and his father was coming to Bangkok for his son on Sunday. She said that Freitas has been working in Bangkok and began experiencing mental health issues about two years ago.

Holden said he was disappointed that the authorities did not notify him or the Portuguese Embassy about Freitas’ detention for several days.

“Only yesterday, they notified the embassy because of the post I made on Facebook,” Holden said. “Now they tell me he has to be held for 10 days to confirm he wasn’t in the right state of mind to be released, so we can transfer him into the right hospital.”

Freitas had last been seen in public on April 11 at The Hyde condo in Soi Sukhumvit 13. His belongings were left untouched in his room on the 31st floor, suggesting he had intended to return. Holden accessed his computer and found his last online activity was the same day.

Holden said Freitas’ family members were worried as they haven’t been to contact him since his disappearance.

Stuart only reported Freitas missing to the police and Portuguese Embassy on Saturday.

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