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‘Rape never happened’. Thai police conclude Koh Tao probe

The Thaiger

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‘Rape never happened’. Thai police conclude Koh Tao probe | The Thaiger
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A teen who claimed to have been drugged and raped on Koh Tao in June has failed to confirm the site of the attack, identity of the attacker or how the attack happened while being questioned in the UK, Thai police officers said.

British police also handed over a T-shirt the 19 year old woman wore on June 25, the day of the alleged attack, and forensic tests found the DNA of a woman and a man but no trace of the attacker’s semen, as she claimed. It was not explained, nor was the question asked at the media conference, where the DNA tests were conducted or if the ‘male’ DNA had been matched.

Pol Lt-Colonel Piyapong Boonkaew, who was among Thai officers who went to the UK, said he talked to the woman and showed her photos of three spots on Koh Tao for her to confirm where the incident happened.

“However, she could not identify the site of the attack nor the identity of the attacker. She could not even provide details on how the attack happened. Therefore, due to the lack of sufficient information offered by the woman, Thai police could not proceed with the investigation.”

Photos shown to the 19 year old alleged victim where of three beaches taken during the daytime whilst the alleged rape occurred at night.

Speaking at the same press conference, national police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda said it has been concluded that there was no rape on Koh Tao as claimed by the woman and police considered the investigation closed.

‘Rape never happened'. Thai police conclude Koh Tao probe | News by The Thaiger

“However if there is any new evidence or the claimant comes to Thailand to provide more information, we will be ready to reopen the investigation,” Chakthip said.

The alleged victim did not file a report with Koh Tao police. Instead, she returned to the UK in early July and reported the alleged rape to her mother, who then lodged a report with local police. The mother gave police a blue T-shirt that her daughter claimed contained the attacker’s DNA.

It was then that Piyapong’s team, which included a policewoman and an interpreter, went to the UK to talk to the girl with the permission of UK police.

Acting Immigration police chief Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakparn said no action would be taken against the woman, even though officials considered it confirmed that the rape report was false.

“The woman did not file any police complaint about the attack, therefore we cannot charge her [with making] a false claim,” he said, adding that Thai police had merely tried to clarify facts as the publicity has tarnished the country’s reputation.

Police did, however, issue arrest warrants for the administrators of two Facebook pages – CSI LA and Samui Times – as well as Facebook users who shared the pages’ information for allegedly distributing false information about the woman’s claim.

FB users who shared the information have been arrested and released on bail, while the administrators of both FB pages are still at large.

A comment from the UK 19 year old victim’s parents has been published on CSI LA…

‘Rape never happened'. Thai police conclude Koh Tao probe | News by The Thaiger

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Tourism

Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry

Maya Taylor

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Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry | The Thaiger

Leading Thai academics are calling on the government to get a move on and help the tourism industry before it’s too late. Addressing a gathering arranged by the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, Kiriya Kulkolkran from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Economics, pointed to the 80% drop in international tourism as a result of the Covid-19 fallout. His estimate includes the first few months of the year when there was actually a functional tourism industry in Thailand.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Kiriya says just 4% of businesses in the tourism sector say they’ve made the same amount or more than they did before Covid-19. She adds that a survey shows employees in the industry are concerned about debt accumulation and “extremely worried about the future”.

Bovorn Subsing, from Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, has backed up the comments, saying tourism workers have seen their wages drop by 60%, while still facing the same, or higher, cost of living. The result is that most are now in debt.

Kiriya predicts the devastation could continue for over 3 years, affecting not just tourism operators but the entire supply chain, as well as new graduates and those seeking their first job. She says that until the sector recovers, the government needs to provide tailored help for businesses, singling out Phuket hotels, who are struggling to survive without foreign guests.

The islands of Phuket and Samui, plus the other ‘tourist’ islands around Thailand, are facing a particular problem as they’re mostly geared for the international tourist market. Domestic tourism, rebooted last July when the local airlines were permitted to fly again, has mostly shunned the popular tourist islands.

One worker at a Phuket hotel, 52 year old Anchisa Sirinanthasak, addressed the forum in support of a possible co-payment scheme for hotel workers. It’s understood most hotel operators are paying employees 62-75% of their normal salary, which works out at around 8,000-9,000 baht per person and is not enough to cover their costs.

Meanwhile, Manop Kaewphaka from Homenet Thailand, a non-profit that protects home-based workers, has called on the government to allow foreign tourists back into the Kingdom and to provide more support for informal workers, in the form of wage guarantees and co-payment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Visa

Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77kaoded

A Thai woman in Koh Samui allegedly ripped off at least 8 foreigners by offering visa extension services and taking off with the money. A group of foreigners reported the scam to officers at the Bo Phut police station, saying they placed deposits ranging from 10,000 baht to even 100,000 baht, but the services were never fulfilled.

A man posted a video on Facebook warning people about the alleged scam and saying he believes the woman stole around 10 million baht. A Thai TV news report shows a J&R Accounting business card for “Joy” which advertises accounting and work permit services.

“Be careful with your visa… There are a lot of people that just want your money and they don’t give the service.”

Apparently, some of the foreigners paid a deposit 6 months ago. They say Joy kept reassuring them that their applications processing. Now that visa amnesty is up, the foreigners worry about potential problems with immigration, Thai media reports.

Police told Thai media that this isn’t the first time they’ve heard of Joy. They issued a summons for her in the past. If she does not respond to the second summons, the police may go to court and request a warrant for her arrest.

A little over a week ago, at the neighbouring island Koh Pha Ngan, a language school allegedly ripped off more than 100 foreigners, claiming they were able to issue them with a 1 year education visa.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Tourism

Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Phuket and Samui are both islands, fed mostly by arrivals at their international airports. Of course, both remain closed and the islands are trying to survive on a dribble of domestic tourists. And there’s no sign of hope any time soon for the future. Bill Barnett is ‘Mr Hotel & Hospitality’ for Thailand and the region. What does he see as the short and long term solutions? Your comments are also welcome, below. You can also watch our stark report about how empty Phuket actually is HERE.

Bill is the MD and leading consultant forc9hotelworks.com

 

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