International
Chad Elwartowski's floating home. Pic: Thai navy

Thailand: US Bitcoin Investor may face death penalty for living on floating home in Andaman Sea

An American Bitcoin investor and his girlfriend have gone into hiding after being told they face the death penalty for building a home in the sea off the coast of Thailand and trying to establish his own 'micronation'.

Chad Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend Supranee Thepdet, known as 'Bitcoin Girl Thailand', are facing charges of threatening the Thailand's independence after authorities found their ocean-based home about 12 nautical miles from Thai shore.

Thailand's navy accused him of violating the country's sovereignty, but Elwartowski insisted the floating 'living platform' in the Andaman Sea know as a 'seastead' was simply in pursuit of a vision of 'freedom'.

Elwartowski said their home was 13 nautical miles out, which he said is just outside Thailand's territorial waters off the shore of Phuket island.

The couple allegedly built the platform in international waters with the intent of setting up a permanent outpost outside any state territories.

The structure was said to fall under the jurisdiction of no government but still inside Thailand's exclusive economic zone, local media reported.

Crypto traders are said to be leading the charge to 'establish micronations', outside known territorial borders by exploiting a loophole in international law.

'Seasteads' are permanent dwellings at sea outside the territory claimed by any government and comes from homesteading - to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle - and is a popular dream for many libertarians.

It is thought Elwartowski, who was part of the first group to adopt Bitcoin and made his money trading crypo-currencies, paid $150,000 for the seastead.

An official complaint was filed to a Phuket police station, colonel Nikorn Somsuk confirmed today.

Police colonel Nikorn said: 'The navy and its team found a concrete tank floating on the sea but there was no one on it. So they filed a charge citing criminal code article 119.'

If they are officially charged and found guilty, the maximum sentence Elwartowski and Thepdet could face is the death penalty.

On Instagram Thepdet, who also goes by Nadia Summergirl, posted pictures of the couple on Thai beaches, drinking Champagne, riding on boats, and lounging on their small sea-based platform.  

Scroll down for video.

'Seasteaders' Bitcoin Girl Thailand and Chad Elwartowski enjoying the golden beaches of Thailand. The kingdom has accused the coupe of violating its sovereignty

+11

'Seasteaders' Bitcoin Girl Thailand and Chad Elwartowski enjoying the golden beaches of Thailand. The kingdom has accused the coupe of violating its sovereignty

Chad Elwartowski and 'Nadia' Supranee Thepdet posted pictures online of them sipping Champagne on their 'floating platform' off the coast of Phuket island, southern Thailand

+11

Chad Elwartowski and 'Nadia' Supranee Thepdet posted pictures online of them sipping Champagne on their 'floating platform' off the coast of Phuket island, southern Thailand

Chad Elwartowski and girlfriend Supranee Thepdet

+11

Supranee Thepdet posted a series of pictures on Instagram of the couple enjoying the Thai sunshine

+11

Chad Elwartowski (left) and girlfriend Supranee Thepdet (left and right) posted a series of pictures on Instagram of the couple enjoying the Thai sunshine

The Thai navy claims their 'seastead' is 12 nautical miles from the shore but Elwartowski said it was 13 miles and so in international waters

+11

The Thai navy claims their 'seastead' is 12 nautical miles from the shore but Elwartowski said it was 13 miles and so in international waters

See Daily Mail article . . .

See also Thailand: US man may face death penalty for living on floating home in Andaman Sea (Sky news)