PM orders strong action against attackers of British tourists

national April 30, 2016 01:00

By THE NATION

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THE PRIME minister and his deputy have instructed the police chief to ensure that those accused of the savage attack on the family of British tourists in Hua Hin face strict legal action.



Deputy police spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen yesterday said police should investigate whether anyone other than the four suspects already in custody were involved.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy Prawit Wongsuwan ordered the police to strictly follow up on the case and ensure the attackers face tough legal action.
A group of suspects violently attacked a British family of three, which left them seriously wounded, in the early hours of April 13. Police have arrested four Thai men in connection with the attack.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects; Chaiya Jaiboon, apologised during a meeting with deputy police chief Pol General Wuthi Liptapanlop. He reportedly confessed to his role and said that he was under the influence of alcohol after drinking many bottles of beer. 
Police yesterday cancelled a re-enactment after learning that some angry people were waiting for the suspects.
Investigation so far has shown that Lewis Owen, son of the British couple, bumped into one of the suspects who then angrily knocked him to the ground. His father, Lewis, 68, and mother Rosemary, 65, then began arguing with the group. The suspects allegedly reacted violently, punching and kicking the three. A video clip of the incident that has gone viral shows the victims lying unconscious on the ground. The son who suffered head injuries has already left Thailand while the parents are scheduled to leave early next month.
Lewis, a graphic designer who lives in Singapore, was quoted by the UK’s Mirror Online as saying he would never go back to Thailand. “Mum and dad won’t either. Never, ever again.”
However, STA, a tour agency in United Kingdom’s Birmingham city, yesterday became a temporary campsite for people after it offered cheap return air tickets to Thailand.
Mirror Online reported that tickets for 50 flights were offered for the first time at as low as 49 pounds each (Bt2,500) while the normal fare is 350 pounds.
The online paper said Waheed Khan, 30, a student from Elephant and Castle, and his girlfriend, were the first in line for tickets in London Victoria. They began queuing on Tuesday morning and camped in their tent on the pavement for two nights.
“I promised my girlfriend a romantic trip to Thailand after she graduates this summer, and when we saw this 49-pound offer was available, we had to be a part of it,” he said.

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