Koh SamuiOpinion

Samui Times responds to Police accusations of ‘fake news’

The media has become its own story today after Surat Thani, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan police and officials have accused Samui Times of spreading ‘fake news’, apparently the latest go-to explanation for any news that you disagree with.

Samui Times responds to allegations of spreading ‘Fake News’ and having a ‘Vendetta’ against Koh Tao

Sanook has reported that the Surat Thai provincial police chief had ordered that a committee be set up to investigate the claims made on social media and in the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK – Samui Times.

Samui Times have broken a number of stories about Koh Tao, subsequently followed up by police, about all too frequent mysterious deaths and disappearances on the Gulf island of Koh Tao – a popular tourist location for back-packers and divers.

The small island has attracted far more attention for its mystery deaths than for its natural beauty and crystal clear waters.

In the most recent case, Samui Times has printed a story and subsequently followed up by Thai and international media, about a 19 year old girl who claims she was drugged, robbed and raped – serious charges.

Samui Times, for their part, have stuck up for themselves with a published editorial…

As usual, rather than investigate crimes in a timely manner, the Thai authorities are blaming the messenger and accusing this publication of spreading fake news. (Read the full editorial from Samui Times HERE)

The response from police HQ in Bangkok, nearly two months after the alleged crime and a week after the story came to light, has been to send down the country’s crime-fighting maestro, deputy chief of the Tourist Police, Maj. Gen. Surachete Hakparn. He now has a team on the ground on Koh Tao investigating the claims. The National Police Chief says he hopes the investigation will be wrapped up within seven days.

We can only hope that the current investigation led by Maj. Gen. Surachete Hakparn will uncover some of the inconvenient truths behind this and other unresolved mysteries on the island.

It is a serious matter for media to call into question the integrity of Thai Police. The police’s best response is to conduct a thorough, transparent investigation.

We await the findings of this current investigation with great interest.

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