/Thailand tows bitcoin traders floating home; owners may face death sentence

Thailand tows bitcoin traders floating home; owners may face death sentence

A Royal Thai navy ship drags a floating home, lived in by an American man and his Thai partner, in the Andaman Sea, off Phuket Island in Thailand, April 22, 2019.

Reuters

A Royal Thai navy ship drags a floating home, lived in by an American man and his Thai partner, in the Andaman Sea, off Phuket Island in Thailand, April 22, 2019.

The Royal Thai Navy has towed a floating home owned by an American bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend, who currently face possible death sentences or life imprisonment for “deteriorating Thailand’s independence,” according to multiple reports.

Chad Elwartowski and his partner Supranee Thepdet lived in the cabin roughly 15 miles from the Thai coast to avoid jurisdiction from the Thai government, according to British news outlet Sky News.

Thai authorities have revoked Elwartowski’s visa and charged the couple for violating Thai sovereignty — an offense punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment, according to Reuters.

“The couple announced on social media declaring their autonomy beyond the jurisdiction of any courts or law of any countries, including Thailand,” Sky News reported Thai Rear Admiral Vithanarat Kochaseni as saying. “We see such action as deteriorating Thailand’s independence.”