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Cops probe Koh Tao rape claim

SURAT THANI: A hostel owner has said a 19-year-old British guest reported by UK media to have been raped on Koh Tao on the night of June 25 refused to report the incident to police on the Surat Thani island despite being urged to do so.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 28 August 2018, 08:54AM

The Hive hostel owner Pattara Jamtrakul, 32, (in white shirt) leads police along the Koh Tao beach where a British teenage backpacker says she was raped. Photo: Post Today

The Hive hostel owner Pattara Jamtrakul, 32, (in white shirt) leads police along the Koh Tao beach where a British teenage backpacker says she was raped. Photo: Post Today

Surat Thani police commander Apichart Boonsriroj said Pattara Jamtrakul, the 32-year-old owner of The Hive hostel, where the tourist stayed on the island, had advised the victim to report the crime to police, but the young Briton claimed she was hurrying to go to Koh Pha-Ngan to meet her boyfriend and other friends to attend a Full Moon party on the island.

The Sun newspaper reported that on Aug 23 the woman was drugged, stripped, robbed and subjected to a nightmare sex ordeal on Koh Tao, a popular tourist destination, especially among foreigners.

She fled to a neighbouring island before returning to Koh Tao to file a complaint with police, who she accused of refusing to investigate her rape allegation while noting only details of the robbery, according to the report.

Maj Gen Apichart said the woman had booked the accommodation from June 21-23, but later asked to extend her stay there to June 26.

The woman stayed with four foreign male friends at the hostel, Maj Gen Apichart said, quoting Ms Pattara.

Ms Pattara told police she arranged to meet the guest and her friends at the local Fish Bowl Bar at 11pm on June 25, but they failed to show up and she believed this group may have travelled elsewhere.

Ms Pattara said the guest told her the following morning that her drink had been spiked and she had been robbed and raped in an area called Laem Hin Jor Por Ror.

The hostel owner said she repeatedly asked the woman to report to police before leaving. Ms Pattara said she did not follow up on the issue after that as she was uncertain whether the offence really took place.

“On July 4, her friend, named Martin, came and asked me if he could lodge the [rape] complaint on behalf of the woman. I then took Mr Martin to Koh Tao Police Station, where officers said they were unable to receive the complaint as the woman was not present herself,” said Ms Pattara.

She said the officers checked CCTV cameras installed close to the alleged attack location but it was too late as the footage from the days in question had already been recorded over.

Yesterday (Aug 27), Maj Gen Apichart led a team of police, army and local officers to Sairee Beach on Koh Tao where the alleged attack took place. He also visited Koh Pha-Ngan Police Station, where the tourist filed a complaint about a mobile phone and B3,000 in cash which she claimed was stolen on Sairee Beach on June 25.

Capt Krissada Thongsakul, deputy inspector of the station, said he told the woman she was unable to file the complaint at Koh Pha-Ngan Police Station as the case happened in a different jurisdiction.

He said the woman said she only wanted to lodge the complaint to seek an insurance payout for her lost valuables and that he decided to help her out by making a record of her visit.

Maj Gen Apichart said he has ordered a probe to ascertain whether the attack happened and, if it is found to be true, if the victim can be contacted to lodge a complaint so police can pursue the case.

“Investigators at Koh Pha-Ngan Police Station confirmed that a complaint was filed only about the lost valuables,” said Maj Gen Apichart, adding that Koh Pha-Ngan police superintendent Col Sathit Kongnian has been assigned to set up a team to determine who the victim came to Koh Pha-Ngan with and what happened during her visit to the station.

National police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said he would send Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau, along with officers from the Office of Forensic Science, to visit the area today (Aug 28).

Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said he has asked senior military figures to help with the investigation.

“There appears to be some conflicting information in the case and people should wait for the results of the probe to come out first,” he noted.

Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist islands, especially among foreigners. However, it has become notorious after a spate of mysterious deaths and incidents of tourists going missing, which has sparked talk of mafia involvement.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon insisted there are no longer any such criminal elements on Koh Tao as they have already been weeded out by authorities.

Read original story here.

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Kurt | 29 August 2018 - 19:38:44

It is about time that western female tourists should realize that going to Surat Thani islands, specially Koh Tao, can become a death trap. No government protection at all.  Only 'selective' no/yes working CCTV as long it serves the local island way.
Western women: Proven, never, never, never be alone there, rape is the least, costing your life is the most.  Police? Reputation known.

Jor12 | 29 August 2018 - 17:49:07

From the posts here, it's easy to see why that was the situation, so all credit to FB.

Christy Sweet | 29 August 2018 - 11:42:29

In addition to the thousands of FB followers that were spoon fed disinformation, " CCTV never works.."  Thailand's largest expat forum (member  total is dubious, I'm on my upteenth user name,) also perpetuated flat out  falsities such as the Thai RT Police was not accredited.  In hyper fashion my post of the certificate was removed and an excuse  found  to suspend my postings.  

Christy Sweet | 29 August 2018 - 11:29:31

Many agree "Danger Island" was a complete fabrication that the emotionally involved, hardly impartial publisher of  an online news journal perpetuated along with other publicity vampires of questionable sanity- along with some con artists.  It truly was purest BS and began self perpetuating when suicidal people sought it out. 

Christy Sweet | 29 August 2018 - 11:15:09

If I were Supreme Honcho  I'd have a provision anyone who is a victim while under the influence of illegal drugs would not be charged.  That would go a long way in clearing truly criminal elements off these islands- islands that very much depend on tourists using illegal drugs. This sort of hypocrisy is why I have no respect... yada yada yada

Winfield | 28 August 2018 - 22:33:21

If it were not for drugs - these Full Moon parties would not exist. Introduce random drug testing (pee in a bucket) at these events , and see how many people attend them then.

Kurt | 28 August 2018 - 17:27:32

It can not enough said: when foreign tourists party with alcohol and drugs, than get robbed/raped, the tourists 'outlaw' themselves in Thailand. Great chance tourist get arrested for illegal use of substances and damaging thailand's reputation.

BenPendejo | 28 August 2018 - 16:02:09

Standard procedure on "Danger Island", discredit the victim and identify everything she did wrong, failing to realize that tourists are reluctant to go to Thai police and officials on "Danger Island" because they cannot be trusted.  Always curious as to why CCTV footage is so unreliable whenever a crime has been committed. Number 1 priority is to keep the drug/party scene open ...

Kurt | 28 August 2018 - 13:01:33

Much of the time the party islands are  'famous' unsafe drugs & alcohol resorts, all discretely allowed by thai officials for the sake of money of course.
By now tourists should know what can happen to them on these practical law free thai enclaves ( islands). Enough press articles warned about it last few years. I not believe Gen Prawits saying.

Christy Sweet | 28 August 2018 - 10:05:21

 I can well believe a young woman was drugged and raped and is confused about it. But she does herself and other victims  no favors by not  having blood drawn  to test for date rape drugs. Of course she could be afraid because she ingested other drugs willingly. 
 I agree the criminal element is removed, and on final appeal of their conviction for the 2014 murders of Witheridge and D. Miller. 

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