Thai Teens Arrested for Killing Burmese Man on Koh Samui

The site where a 22-year-old Burmese man was found dead on Koh Samui, 27 Feb 2015.

SURAT THANI — Three Thai teenagers have been arrested for allegedly killing a 22-year-old Burmese man on the southern island of Koh Samui, despite a police officer's earlier suggestion that the killers must have also been Burmese.

The three suspects, said to be 18, 17, and 16 years of age, were arrested on 2 March. According to police, they confessed to stabbing Thet Soe Tar, 23,  to death on the night of 27 February. 

Pol.Col. Thewet Pluemsutthi, superintendent of Bo Put Police Station, said the teens told police that they were riding a motorcycle on the night of 27 February when Thet collided into them with his motorcycle, leading to an argument.

The suspects reportedly asked Thet to pay 500 baht in damages, but the Burmese man said he did not have any money on him, and told the suspects to follow him to his home where he had cash.

"The deceased guided them onto Soi Mod Yim in Bo Put district. It was a dark and isolated street. The Burmese man then decided to put up a fight, and the suspects assaulted the victim, before they stabbed him and cut his throat at the crime scene," Pol.Col. Thewet said. "They took the deceased's motorcycle to be burned in a coconut orchard … before they went home and pretended that nothing happened."

Police say they managed to track down the suspects using CCTV footage and witnesses' testimonies. They have been charged with armed robbery that lead to the death of another. 

In the wake of the killing, Pol.Col. Sirichai Kertsri, deputy superintendent of Bo Put Police Station, said he believed Thet was murdered by another Burmese because of their "violent" behavior. 

"We believe [the perpetrators] are from Burma, judging from their violent behavior. They like to use violence," Pol.Col. Sirichai said on 27 February. 

There are more than one million Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, many of whom are not officially registered under Thai law. Their lack of legal protection, coupled with widespread discrimination against Burmese people in Thailand, means they are often subject to abuse by employers, police, and human traffickers.

 

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