Scrounger dubbed ‘big-legged beggar’ BANNED from Thailand

Scrounger dubbed ‘big-legged beggar’ BANNED from Thailand
 Scrounger dubbed big legged beggar BANNED from Thailand

A German man dubbed ‘the big-legged beggar’ because he used his deformed limb to get sympathy and cash to fund partying in Thailand has been banned from the country, it has emerged.

Notorious scrounger Benjamin Holst, originally from Flensburg in Germany, suffers from a rare condition that has left one of his legs badly swollen.

Kind-hearted Thais donated hundreds of pounds to help the 33-year-old in 2014 after they saw him begging on the street and assumed he needed help. 

But they were left outraged when pictures later emerged appearing to show him partying with girls in Pattaya – the country’s sex tourism capital.

His most recent attempt to reach the country, however, seems to have backfired after he was barred from boarding a flight from Zurich in Switzerland amid reports he has been blacklisted by Thai immigration.

scrounger dubbed big legged beggar banned from thailand Scrounger dubbed big legged beggar BANNED from Thailand

A German man dubbed ‘the big-legged beggar’ (pictured) for using his deformed limb to get sympathy and cash to fund his partying in Thailand has been banned from the country, it has emerged

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Notorious scrounger Benjamin Holst (centre), originally from Flensburg in Germany, suffers from a rare condition that has left one of his legs badly swollen. Despite begging for cash on the street, pictures show him partying across Asia. He is pictured here in Kuta, Indonesia

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Holst (pictured) is believed to have a condition known as macrodystrophia lipomatosa which has left his right leg vastly inflated

Holst is believed to have a condition known as macrodystrophia lipomatosa which has left his right leg severely inflated.

Pictures of him begging on the streets started to emerge on social media a few years ago.

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The website, Indonesia Expat, claims that in September 2014 he was found in Thailand telling passers-by that he was running out of money and needed cash to buy a plane ticket home. 

But after locals raised more than £1,000 to fund his return to Germany, he was seen partying with girls in Pattaya, the website claims.

He is then understood to have been arrested and thrown out of the country by immigration officers.

scrounger dubbed big legged beggar banned from thailand 4 Scrounger dubbed big legged beggar BANNED from Thailand

Kind-hearted Thais donated hundreds of pounds to help the 33-year-old in 2014 after they saw him begging on the street and assumed he needed help. But they were left outraged when pictures later emerged appearing to show him partying with girls in Pattaya – the country’s sex tourism capital

scrounger dubbed big legged beggar banned from thailand 5 Scrounger dubbed big legged beggar BANNED from Thailand

His most recent attempt to reach the country, however, seems to have backfired after he was barred from boarding a flight from Zurich in Switzerland (pictured) amid reports he has been blacklisted by Thai immigration

scrounger dubbed big legged beggar banned from thailand 6 Scrounger dubbed big legged beggar BANNED from Thailand

There are reports that he has been seen begging in the same way in the Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Indonesia

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Yesterday, Holst complained on Facebook that Thai Airways had barred him from a flight to Thailand when he could ‘not get a green light from the immigration’ – even though his final destination was Laos

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Holst has been arrested in the past and was reportedly thrown out of Thailand in 2014

Rare conditions that cause severe swelling

Benjamin Holst is believed to have a condition known as macrodystrophia lipomatosa which has left his right leg severely inflated.

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The condition is a form of localised gigantism normally diagnosed at birth but that is non-hereditary.

Its exact cause is not known, though some believe that it is the result of a disturbance in the regulation of tissue growth.

Other conditions that lead to severe swelling of this type include elephantiasis – or lymphatic filariasis.

This is a tropical disease that occurs when parasites are transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The parasites are deposited on a person’s skin from where they enter the body and migrate to the lymphatic vessels where they develop into adult worms.

The infection usually occurs in childhood but the disfiguring effects are not often seen until adulthood.

It can cause permanent disability.

The swelling is usually the result of a bacterial skin infection after normal immune defenses have been partially lost due to lymphatic damage.

The parasites can be cleared from the body with drug treatment but if elephantiasis has developed, complex surgery can be required. 

According to another website, Philippines Lifestyle, he has been seen begging in the same way in the Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

But the site, which describes his condition as ‘benign but painful-looking’, adds: ‘In stark contrast to the sob story he gives out on the streets, his Facebook feed catalogues a life of constant travel, fine food and nightclubbing.’

Yesterday, he complained on Facebook that Thai Airways had barred him from a flight to Thailand when he could ‘not get a green light from the immigration’ – even though his final destination was Laos.

He later revealed he had secured a flight from Amsterdam with KLM instead and photos on his Facebook page showed he was now in Seoul, South Korea. 

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Social media users have posted links to stories warning of his activity on his own Facebook page. But he appears to have ignored the posts, preferring only to comment on his own travel plans. 

Categories: Crime, World
Tags: Crime

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