South African tourist, Laurie Viljoen Botha, has been arrested after he was allegedly caught trying to scam his insurance company while on holiday in Phuket, Thailand.

Phuket Police Chief Urumporn Koondejsumrit told The Phuket News  Botha, a 33 year old male, reported a robbery complaint on Saturday 6 June, alleging items in his hotel room at Sino Imperial Hotel in Phuket Town had been stolen. Botha alleged he had been robbed of 13 items worth about 150 000 baht or an estimatedd R55 900, reports The Phuket Gazette.

He also stated that he had been robbed while walking on the street near his hotel.

However, when the police looked at the hotel’s CCTV footage to investigate the reported robbery further, they became wary of Botha’s story.

Chief Koondejsumrit said their investigation yielded no evidence of the described robberies, but rather showed the suspect leaving the hotel with a bag.

When confronted about the findings, Botha confessed to the police that he had lied about the crimes, saying “he made up a story in order to file a compensation claim with his insurance company back in South Africa”.

According to the report, Botha signed a three-page statement admitting his guilt after he was taken to the Phuket City Police Station.

Investigators told Phuket Wan Tourism News that Botha may face a jail term in Thailand before being deported back to South Africa.

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