After Phuket, ambassadors target tourist safety in Krabi

PHUKET: The British, Canadian and Dutch Ambassadors to Thailand met with the top cop in Krabi yesterday to discuss tourism-safety measures and to follow up on several prominent police cases.

The visit comes just two days after the three ambassadors spoke with Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut to highlight their chief concerns for tourists’ safety in Phuket.

Speaking with Krabi Provincial Police Commander Nunthadej Yoinual at the Krabi Provincial Police Station in Krabi Town, Ambassadors Mark Kent of the UK, Philip Calvert of Canada and Joan Boer of the Netherlands highlighted issues with how several high-profile cases were handled in the Andaman coast province over the past year.

“The ambassadors asked specifically about the rape of a Dutch model, British tourist Jack Daniel Cole being assaulted and the deaths of the two Canadian sisters on Phi Phi Island,” Maj Gen Nunthadej told the press.

“They suggested that some information related to these cases should not have been revealed to the public because the information might have affected the victims’ families and friends,” the general added.

The request for police to respect relatives’ concerns about the public release of information follows a clampdown amid the investigation into the deaths of Canadian sisters Noemi and Audrey Belanger on Phi Phi in June.

“We have been asked by the Canadian Embassy and the [Belanger] family to not reveal anything about the case. We are standing by that. The cause of death in the police report to the embassy is ‘Unknown’,” Lt Col Jongrak Pimthong of Krabi City Police told the Phuket Gazette in October.

However, Lt Col Jongrak’s statement did not give any indication as to whether or not other members of the public might be in danger of coming into contact with whatever possibly caused the sisters’ deaths, which was initially reported as poisoning.

“British Ambassador Kent said that in many cases the police officers involved faced English-communication problems. The ambassador said he would send officers from the British Embassy in Thailand [in Bangkok] to help teach English to the police,” Gen Nunthadej added.

The offer to provide English tuition to Krabi Police officers follows a similar offer from the Tourism Authority of Thailand Krabi office in the aftermath of the police response to the Evil Man From Krabi YouTube video, which accused the Krabi authorities of allowing a man charged with the rape of the Dutch model to walk free.

Gen Nunthadej explained that some of the “misunderstandings” about the handling of the rape case were due to differences in Thai criminal law and criminal law in other countries.

“These differences might have caused confusion between police officers and foreigners involved in the case,” he said.

Following their meeting with Gen Nunthadej, the ambassadors visited Krabi Governor Prasit Osathanon to discuss further tourist-safety measures in the province.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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

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