A British tourist, who claimed that he was mugged and injured by local thugs in Thailand, was recently exposed for lying to the Thai police.
Army veteran Mik Laverty was reportedly in Phuket to celebrate his 50th birthday when he was robbed at gunpoint by attackers at a marketplace last Thursday. In his complaint to the police, Laverty reported that the incident resulted in a broken leg for him.
However, Thai police outed the tourist as a fraud who invented the whole story after a recovered CCTV footage revealed that he actually injured himself while jumping from a hotel balcony early Friday morning.
In the clip, he can initially be seen walking normally in the corridor of a local hotel, which is not the place he was staying at. He is then shown trying to open a couple of doors before finally entering a room. That’s when he threw himself over a balcony railing, down 20 feet to the ground below, authorities noted.
In an interview with The Phuket News, Capt Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police revealed that Laverty and his wife Denise fled on a flight to Dubai before they could present him with CCTV evidence on Tuesday.
“Staff heard him screaming and ran to help. They called a rescue team which soon arrived and took him to Patong Hospital,” Ekkachai was quoted as saying.
The couple reportedly called the Tourist Police hotline 1155 on Saturday morning to report that the husband was attacked by three or four Thai men.
“It was reported that he was robbed and his watch was stolen at the Thara Patong Beach Resort & Spa. We were told that he wanted to file a report in order for his medical insurance provider, so I went to see him at Bangkok Hospital Phuket (on Nov 4),” Ekkachai said.
“However, when I questioned witnesses during my investigation I found that his account of what happened did not match with what the witnesses told me. For example, hotel staff found his watch near where he landed on the ground. In fact, his watch is still here with me,” he added.
As it turned out, Laverty and his wife were using the “robbery” narrative to raise money for medical expenses. In the first day of their fundraising, they collected around $1,300.
According to the couple’s account of events, two men had grabbed Laverty as his wife went to use the toilet at a local bar. Laverty claimed that the thugs held a gun to his head and demanded money. He said the men beat him so badly that he only has a hazy memory of the mugging.
A crowdfunding page — Get Mik and Denise Home — was set up by friends as their travel insurance refused to pay until the incident is investigated. The post has since been removed.