Kent Melmblom, 52, got heart problems when he was in Thailand and was hospitalized. So long that his tourist visa in Thailand run out. Then began the worst 12 days of his life.
– I never thought that Thailand could be so dangerous, says Kent Melmblom.
Kent Melmblom from Stockholm rented a house in the town of Pattaya southeast of Bangkok, when he got a chest pain and was admitted to Bangkok Hospital in Pattaya.
When Kent Melmblom was discharged from the hospital, knew that his visa expired. One week after discharge, he went to the police station in Pattaya for advice.
But he did not receive any help – he was arrested on the spot.
– I was thrown into a detention cell. There was one person there. During the night it had been filled with other inmates, 67 people pressed together in five by five meters, said Kent Melmblom.
Chained with other The day after he was brought to justice. He was sentenced to pay 2000 Baht, 480 Swedish crowns, and would be released within one hour.
– It sounded reasonable.
But Kent Melmblom was not released. Outside the hall was instead a group of policemen waiting for him.
– I was handcuffed, shackled and chained with a lot of prisoners and taken to a cell. I had to live under terrible circumstances, he says. He was forced to pay another 1800 Baht, but not released. Went lost 16 kg weight.
He was arrested on July 16, but would remain in the narrow cell for several days. Every day he received a small bag of rice and a bottle of water. There was a fan of the cell to relieve the heat, but it broke after a few days.
– I lost 16 kg. I got diarrhea of the infected water and threw up every day. The sweat ran down on me. It was so crowded on the floor it just went to lie down on the page.
One morning a man lay cold beside him. He had died, but was to remain in the cell. In two days. No one took him away. Kent Melmholm did not understand how he got there – in the cell that appeared to be the worst possible nightmare.
– There was no dignity at all. After two days he began to smell.
Kent Melmblom had no access to his heart medication and was feeling increasingly ill, both mentally and physically. He had no watch and could not see out any windows.
– I did not know if it was day or night. We only had a stone floor and opposite water bottle to rest your head on. And the toilet in privacy was not to speak of.
The news reached after a few days, Kent’s mother in Sweden who in turn contacted the Foreign Office. One day, opened the door in the cell. Someone searched for Kent.
With the help of a lawyer who knew the police chief could Kent Melmblom bribe himself free.
It cost a further 30 000 Baht, just over 7260 Swedish kronor.
Then the trip home went very quickly. He was not given the opportunity to either pick up their belongings in their house or change clothes.
Was flown home in the same clothes the same day, July 29, he was thrown into a car, was taken to Bangkok airport and put on a plane to Sweden. In the same clothes as he was jailed in July 16 – a pair of shorts, sandals and a tank top.
– I stank of urine, faeces and sweat, and would sit on a plane among the common people.
And totally uncovered without money or a few belongings.
Now he has had time to shower and rest, but still feel very bad for what he had.
– I do not know if I should laugh or cry. I did not know that Thailand was so dangerous. I still lived there previously for ten years and was no novice. I want to warn others. The police were just looking for my money, says Kent Melmblom.
Several similar cases of UD (Swedish Ministry of Foreign affairs)
One month after his arrival in Sweden, he finally had time to gather strength to talk to the Swedish police, his insurance company and the Foreign Ministry.
But Kent’s case is not unusual.
– We have many of these matter. It is common to be taken for not having valid visas. One must follow the laws and regulations in the country, says Karin Nylund.
She would not comment on individual cases but said that UD (Swedish Foreign affairs) has many similar cases on their desk.
Translated from Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet today: