Israeli arrested with weapons cache on Koh Samui

Thailand - Reuters

The Thailand military on Saturday raided Israeli businesses and arrested Israeli business owner Nati Hadad, who runs the Koh Samui Search and Rescue Medical Center.

According to reports, Thai soldiers found several weapons – including guns and ammunition – during a search of Hadad’s clinic.

The soldiers also raided the local Chabad House.

On Saturday, Hadad’s brother Eliran published a video on the business’ Facebook page asking the public for help.

“Nati was arrested because people are trying to slander his name, and it’s not the first time,” the post read. “He’s been living in Koh Samui for seven years, volunteering to help people in Thailand during their times of suffering. He’s not doing anything illegal.”

“Nati needs your help. If we can’t come up with 100,000 shekels, he’ll be transferred to a Thai jail, bound hand and foot. His Zoza Bar was supposed to celebrate its official reopening, and there’s a clear connection between the bar and when Nati was arrested.”

The Bangkok Post reported that investigators also seized a .22-calibre pistol, 85 bullets, a bulletproof vest bearing the word “Police’’, three communication radios, two electrical prods, a volunteer police card from the Koh Phangan police station, a rescue volunteer card and other documents.

The Doctor Sam clinic in Bo Phut offered free treatment and was supported by donations.

Authorities said that only Israeli nationals worked at the five-bed clinic, which did not employ any Thai staff. They are investigating whether Mr Hadad had any medical training.

Mr Hadad told police that he rented the building to operate the clinic to provide medical treatment to compatriots who were injured in road accidents or suffering from illnesses. Treatment was free of charge but the clinic received donations, he added.

He said he also did other volunteer work, helping injured tourists and assisting police as an interpreter.

He claimed that the weapons seized in his clinic did not belong to him and he did not know who owned them. He said he had only a BB gun.

Police initially pressed charges of illegally operating a clinic and possessing ammunition and communication radios without permission. Public health officials plan to examine the medicines and other medical equipment.

Earlier, a foreigner living on the island had given police a video clip and images of men he claimed to be Israeli gangsters demanding protection money from foreign business operators on the island.

The men, some of them said to be from Chon Buri, were known as influential figures who intimidated other foreigners on the island, according to the victim.

Officers stand behind Netanel Hadad, 34, following his arrest at a clinic on Koh Samui where numerous weapons were also found. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)


(Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

– Israel National News

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