Crimes Against Tourists in Thai Beach Towns Continue

Minister of Sports and Tourism Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul met with officials on Koh Tao island to discuss about the investigation into the murder of two Britons there, 28 Sep 2014

PHUKET — Two more crimes against foreigners in Thailand were reported over the weekend, only two weeks after the country was rocked by the grisly murder of two British tourists on the resort island of Koh Tao.

This past weekend, a Russian tourist was allegedly raped in Phuket, while a body of an unidentified foreigner was found off the coast of Koh Samet in the the Gulf of Thailand.

According to police, a Russian tourist said she was walking back to her hotel from the nightlife district of Patong on Saturday when a Thai man offered her a ride on his motorcycle. 

Instead of bringing her to the hotel, he took the tourist to his residence and sexually assaulted her, police say. He then reportedly returned her back to her hotel, where she immediately called police.


After studying CCTV footage, police identified the suspect as Somdet Srisai, 33, and arrested him. 

Police officers say Mr. Somdet confessed to the crime and said he brought the victim to his residence to help her "sober up," but then decided to rape her because "she was beautiful."

According to police, Mr. Somdet said he did not expect the victim to report the crime.

Mr. Somdet has been charged with sexual assault and is currently detained by police. 

Meanwhile on Sunday, the body of an unidentified foreigner was found off the coast of Koh Samet, a popular tourist destination in the Gulf of Thailand.

Police described the deceased as a male 170-cm-tall Caucasian wearing a black T-shirt and short black pants at the time of his death.

Police say they found a wound caused by a blunt object on the back of his head and "numerous" bruises on his body, suggesting that he was murdered before being dumped into the sea.

The incident is under investigation.

The two crimes against foreigners came amid the ongoing controversy over the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao island in southern Thailand two weeks ago.

Police have yet to name suspect or make any arrests in connection with the murder of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23. The faltering investigation has come under harsh criticism from international media after police gave a series of contradicting and confusing statements to the press.

Petty crimes against foreigners are common in Thailand, where approximately 26 million tourists travel to each year, but the murder of foreigners is relatively rare. In the past weeks Thai authorities have expressed concern that the murder of the two Britons will damage the national tourism industry. 



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