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A couple faces the death penalty for building a floating house at sea

The "floating house" for which a couple, pursued by Thailand, risk the death penalty. – AP / SIPA

A couple faces the death penalty for building a floating house at sea off Thailand. The American Chad Elwartowski and his Thai companion Supranee Thepdet are being prosecuted for "threats against the independence of the kingdom" by the Thai navy.

The dwelling is 12 nautical miles from the coast, which is within the territorial waters of the country. The couple has "submitted no application for authorization," says the navy on Facebook. "They make fun of Thailand as a sovereign state. "

A simple "quest for freedom"

A meeting between the navy and the regional authorities will be held to "decide the outcome," according to the police. For his part, Chad Elwartowski claims that his floating house is located 13 nautical miles outside the territorial waters. He says in simple "quest for freedom": "I like the idea of ​​using his house as a ballot," he says. "If we do not like his government, we move and we choose another. "

This former computer scientist of the US Army made a fortune in cryptocurrency. His companion is known as "Miss Bitcoin Thailand". The couple is active in Ocean Builders, a group of entrepreneurs that aims to build permanent homes on the oceans, to overcome the constraints of national laws.

The housing project postponed

The couple had recently appealed to 20 investors, inviting them to build their own house around their isolated platform off Thailand. The launch of this project called "ISeaO" (Initial Seastead Offering), scheduled for April 15, has been postponed.

The couple said he was now hiding "in a safe place". Ocean Builders does not "do politics," according to Chad Elwartowski. But it's the buyers who decide what they want to do at home at sea.

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