Connect with us

Thailand

Myanmar suspects of British tourists’ murder released

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Myanmar suspects of British tourists’ murder released
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Police last night ruled out three Myanmar workers being involved in the murder of two British tourists, as the government appeared to call into question the “behaviour” of the victims themselves.

The bodies of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, both 24, arrived in Bangkok late yesterday for forensic examination.

The victims were found naked and beaten to death early on Monday near a beachside bungalow on Koh Tao, a popular diving spot near Koh Pha-ngan. A bloodied hoe was discovered 35 metres from the murder scene.

Three male Myanmar workers were held for questioning, but ruled out of the investigation yesterday afternoon, southern regional police commander Panya Mamen told AFP.

“They were very far from the scene … it was probably not them,” he said, adding that DNA samples had been collected from the men. However, he did not give details of any further leads as the manhunt on the small, normally tranquil island stretched into a second day without an arrest.

Police have also cleared a number of British tourists who travelled with the victims of being involved.

Earlier yesterday, local TV news reports showed police officers searching several shacks belonging to Myanmar migrants on the island.

Yesterday, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha said “We have to look into the behaviour of the other party too, because this kind of incident should not happen to anybody and it has affected our image,” he told reporters, adding the authorities were working “swiftly” to find the killers.

Koh Tao, home to stunning white sand beaches and azure waters, is popular with divers but is smaller and more laid-back than neighbouring Koh Phanganwhich draws hordes of backpackers to its hedonistic “full moon” party.

Later Prayuth said local people must tell “tourists when the safe times are to be outside, we have to help them understand”.

Police had earlier said the pair had been seen partying at a local bar just hours before they died.

Police sources said police had found a pair of blood-stained jeans and four iPhones – two of which had screens that were cracked – in a search of nine rooms occupied by six migrants yesterday.

The country is desperate to avoid further damage to the nation’s lucrative tourism industry, which has been battered in recent months after a prolonged political crisis ended in a coup.

The army swiftly blanketed the country with a curfew and strict martial law, frightening off visitors.

Britain says Thailand is the country where its citizens are second most likely to require consular assistance if they visit, behind the Philippines.

There were 389 deaths of British nationals in Thailand in the year to March 2013 – about one for every 2,400 British visitors or residentsalthough that figure includes natural causes.

But it is rare for tourists to be murdered in Thailand, although it is not uncommon for visitors to die accidentally.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmueng earlier said the suspect is seen in the footage walking around the scene of the murders, on Chor Por Ror beach.

Somyot said it was assumed that the killer or killers would be local residents or migrant workers, as they would know where to acquire the murder weapon – a hoe.

He said Prayuth Chan-ocha had phoned him to directly instruct him to identify and arrest those responsible as a matter of utmost urgency.

Prayuth spoke to reporters at Government House, acknowledging that the murders had affected Thailand and its public image in terms of tourism, and that he would ask the police to speed up the investigation.

Meanwhile, the regional Tourism Authority office tasked with affairs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East issued a statement to the press in the United Kingdom expressing sorrow over the double-murder and condemning the violence as unacceptable, while vowing to maintain efforts to identify and arrest the killers.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 mins ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs10 mins ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)39 mins ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand50 mins ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport1 hour ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of2 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism2 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of2 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand2 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket3 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

World4 hours ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Pollution4 hours ago

Beached sperm whale covered in oil rescued in Phuket

Thailand5 hours ago

Unsatisifed with haircut, grandfather goes to police station for help

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending