Viral photos of wanted German man selling barbecue chicken in Thailand lead to his arrest

Maximilian Fernsebner became an Internet sensation in Thailand when pictures of him helping his Thai wife sell barbecue chicken in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima were circulated online in May 2019.
Maximilian Fernsebner became an Internet sensation in Thailand when pictures of him helping his Thai wife sell barbecue chicken in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima were circulated online in May 2019.PHOTO: SIAM CHON NEWSPAPER/FACEBOOK

BANGKOK (DPA) - Viral social media posts of a German man selling barbecue chicken in Thailand have led to his arrest for crimes allegedly committed in his home country, Thai police told dpa on Wednesday (July 3).

The 34-year-old is wanted in his native Germany on charges related to drug trafficking, robbery and child pornography, according to Mr Chatchawan Thippichai of the Immigration Police Bureau.

The German, identified by Thai media as Maximilian Fernsebner, became an Internet sensation in Thailand when pictures of him helping his Thai wife sell barbecue chicken in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima were circulated online in May.

"The news led us to check his immigration record and we found that he entered Thailand illegally because the last record was when he left Thailand for Laos in October 2017," said Mr Chatchawan.

"Upon further inspection, we also found that the man is wanted by the German authorities. We didn't know about his crimes at first because the (Interpol) notice was issued after he fled to Thailand," he added.

Mr Chatchawan and his team spent two days in late June searching for the German, who hid himself in a forest swamp in Nakhon Ratchasima and used a plastic pipe to breathe underwater before giving himself up on the third day.

Fernsebner was charged with illegal entry and fined 6,000 baht (S$266) and was expected to be extradited back to Germany within a week, the immigration policeman said.

Fernsebner's wife told local media after the photos went viral that she and her husband were only helping to run her mother's stall while she was sick.