Czech fugitive accused of deliberately spreading HIV is arrested in Phuket, Thailand

Zdenek Pfeifer, alleged to have knowingly infected at least a dozen male partners with HIV in his Czech homeland, had been on Thai resort island for more than a year

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 2:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 10:02pm

A Czech fugitive wanted in his homeland for knowingly spreading HIV to multiple victims has been arrested on a Thai resort island after living in the country for more than a year, police said Wednesday.

Zdenek Pfeifer, 49, was detained at his apartment on the island of Phuket on Tuesday evening, Thai Interpol said in a statement.

His arrest came after reports warning of his presence in the popular holiday nation went viral on Thai social media this week.

“Thai police will contact Czech Interpol once he has been prosecuted for local violations,” Thai Interpol said, adding he was arrested for illegally overstaying his visa.

The Interpol notice says Pfeifer was informed in 2013 that he suffered from Aids, but that he went on to have unprotected sex with many men in the Czech Republic over the next two years before fleeing to Thailand.

“At least in one case he infected his sexual partner,” the notice said. “One of the men was a minor and the wanted person paid him money for sexual intercourse with him and recorded the intercourse [to make a pornographic video].”

Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, Thailand deputy national police spokesman, said Pfeiffer faced “sex offence” charges back home.

He first entered Thailand in June 2015 on a tourist visa which ran out in August of that year.

“He overstayed in the country for more than 500 days, so that’s against the immigration law here,” Krisana said.

“Along the way we received the red notice from Interpol and police arrested him yesterday for overstaying.”

Lieutenant-General Nathathorn Prousoontorn, commander of Thailand’s immigration police, told reporters that there was currently no complaint filed locally that Pfeiffer had knowingly infected anyone with HIV.

Phuket is a hugely popular southern Thai island known for its many resort hotels as well as a seedy red-light district centred around Patong Beach.

Additional reporting by Associated Press