File photo from touristpolice.go.th
File photo from touristpolice.go.th

Koh Tao rape claim probe to end next week

national October 05, 2018 15:01

By The Nation

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Thai police expect to finalise their investigation next week into the alleged rape of a British tourist on Surat Thani’s Koh Tao a few months ago, Immigration police chief Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn said.



The Royal Thai Police team investigating the rape claim travelled to the United Kingdom last month to interview the 19-year-old British woman who claimed to have been drugged, raped and robbed on the island in June.

The team is due to return to Thailand on Saturday with evidence provided by UK police, such as a sperm-stained shirt, Surachate said on Thursday.

“It will take a week [after their return] to conclude if the rape is proved to be real. If she tells the truth we will invite her to Thailand for further questions,” Surachate said.

He said he has not received any report from the team whether the alleged victim still stood by her previous statements.

Initial reports said the team received good cooperation from the alleged victim in the interview which involved both Thai and English interpreters as well as UK officers, he added.

Surachate denied that the alleged British victim had been blacklisted by Thai authorities from entering the Kingdom and vowed to bring justice to all concerning sides.

In August, Thai police went to the island to investigate and gather further evidence relating to the case. They initially said they found no evidence to support the rape claim. The finding was criticised and prompted further investigations in London.

Thai Police later arrested 12 Facebook users for sharing posts about the alleged crime and commenting on them at the “CSI LA” page on Facebook for allegedly violating the Computer Crime Act.

As well as the 12 suspects, two others are still at large; one is Pramuk Anantasin, administrator of “CSI LA” Facebook page and Suzanne Emery, British publisher of the online newspaper and Facebook page Samui Times. Police have accused them of reporting false information concerning the rape claim.

Surachate, known by his moniker “Big Joke”, moved from his deputy position at the Thai Tourist Police Bureau to become commissioner of the Immigration Bureau on Monday.

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