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Foreign yoga teachers arrested

foreign yoga teachers arrested

Two foreign nationals providing courses for a well-known yoga school on Koh Phangan for 9,000 baht per head have been arrested for working without work permits.

A team of tourist police, immigration officers and local officials visited a house on the tourist island on Friday, following up a complaint about a “Shaolin experience” course being promoted on the Samma Karuna Facebook page.

When they arrived, they found some foreigners practising Chinese-style exercises at the house with a man identified later as Somphet, who held German nationality, teaching them.

Somphet Daoheuang, 37, was arrested, along with a Canadian woman identified as Arbely Natalie Rubalcava Rojo, 34, police said on Saturday.

During questioning, Mr Somphet admitted being a trainer for the Shaolin experience course, which charged participants 9,000 baht each. It is one of a number of courses offered by Samma Karuna, which bills itself as “an awakening and healing school” serving a mainly foreign clientele.

Mr Somphet told police that he received 60% of the training fee, or 5,400 baht per head, from Samma Karuna and the company received the rest.

Police detained him and the Canadian woman for further legal action.

Two foreign nationals detained for working without permits are seen at the Koh Phangan police station. (Photo supplied/Assawin Pakkawan)

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