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

The Thaiger & The Nation

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

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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Koh Samui

Koh Samui balancing on tourism razor’s edge

Bill Barnett

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Koh Samui balancing on tourism razor’s edge | The Thaiger

PHOTO: www.thekalasamui.com

“…shrinking Chinese demand due to the economic slowdown and depreciation for the yuan versus the baht”

The time has come to open the discussion about the troubling drop in one of Thailand’s leading resort destinations, Koh Samui.

Looking into the island’s performance numbers, according to data from international  hospitality benchmarking  group STR, at the end of August room night demand was down year-to-date by 4.4%.

Viewing a broader market metric C9 Hotelworks research has shown through September that hotel occupancy for the first nine months of the year declined by over 7% compared to the same period in 2017.

One cannot simply account for the dismal numbers as an effect of the China ‘boat sinking’ crisis which was triggered in the middle of the year. Airlift is the elephant in the room of island tourism destinations. During the first six months of this year, domestic arrivals at Koh Samui Airport dropped by 19%, with each month reflecting a negative variance compared to the same month in 2017.

Many industry watchers have pointed to the termination of Thai Airways International flights between Bangkok and Koh Samui in September as a trigger. The reality of the airlift in fact is TG retired an aging 737-400 jet that was used to service the route. It lacks an appropriate replacement given the island’s short runway and negotiated a codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways to ensure travelers transit seamlessly.

One telling indicator of the market malaise is Surat Thani Airport on the mainland. Over the past few years a rising number of Chinese travelers had used the gateway and were ferried on to Koh Samui. Diving into the latest available data, international arrivals at Surat Thani for the period of January through September dropped 36%, while domestic arrivals only slightly moved downward by 1%.

Armed with the numbers I started a dialogue with island hoteliers to better understand the situation. For the most part, there were similar stories about shrinking Chinese demand due to the economic slowdown and depreciation for the yuan versus the baht.

Arguably the legacy European markets were slower based on the impact of a World Cup year. Lastly is the rise of Vietnam’s beach destination’s including Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.

Ultimately there is little doubt though that the sheer cost of airfares to Koh Samui remain a vital barrier to entry. Phuket continues to see more low-cost airline carriers which has contributed to growth in price sensitive markets. Samui’s environmental restrictions on the number of daily flights and lack of airline carrier diversity in the LCC space has created a glass ceiling.

For hotels, frankly there is no easy answer. The island has somewhat avoided the massive development crush of other resort locations in Thailand and Southeast Asia, but the nature of the island’s economic dependence on tourism has caged the golden goose. Damned if they do or damned if they don’t, the path to tourism maturity comes with a price tag with either staying small or going big. The hotel and tourism sector will likely remain stressed going forward, though certain niches such as luxury properties and wellness offerings tend to buck the trend.

To sum up the future, something has to happen with the airport issue to balance mounting infrastructure drains. The continued influx of Full Moon travellers transiting to nearby Koh Phangan and early stage development of Koh Tao are just another part of the equation.

In short, Koh Samui either needs to find a way to grow the existing airport or else find a new location and long-term solution to the airport conundrum.

Koh Samui balancing on tourism razor’s edge | News by The Thaiger

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Koh Samui

Burmese man arrested for selling ‘ice’ on Samui

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Burmese man arrested for selling ‘ice’ on Samui | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

A Burmese man has been arrested last night while allegedly delivering crystal meth to fellow Myanmar citizens on Koh Samui where he has been illegally living for the past 10 years.

Police say 35 year old ‘Chaw’ was arrested while driving to allegedly deliver the drug to his buyers, believed to be other Myanmar nationals working in the popular tourist destination.

District officials and Army troops, who jointly made the arrest, found 50 grams of crystal methamphetamine or “ice” in 24 tiny plastic bags in the car.

The officials then searched a house in Tambon Maret where he lives with his Thai wife and found several car registration books.

Chaw told police he got the drug from a Burmese man who delivered it to him on the island. He added that he lent the drug money to Burmese workers on the Gulf island and they left the car registration books with him as collateral.

Police say Chaw has been living with his Thai wife on the island for ten years without a passport or other type of travel document and has become an influential figure among Myanmar migrants on Samui.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Koh Samui

Part-time Samui snake man catches King Cobra with bare hands

The Thaiger

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Part-time Samui snake man catches King Cobra with bare hands | The Thaiger

King Cobra vs British Snake Whisperer. 47 year old UK citizen, Philip Brook won.

Thai television TNA has show a video of the British resident who lives in Koh Samui responding to a call to catch a King Cobra on the Gulf island. Philip has lived in Samui for 18 years and now is a volunteer at “Samui Snake Rescue”. He likes to help all manner of animals in distress but has a special affection for snakes.

The presenters say that locals were amazed to see him use his bare hands to catch the three metre long King Cobra. The cobra was returned to the wild.

Philip, speaking to ThaiVisa, says that he is originally from Stoke on Trent.

Philip gets a lot of help from Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, run by Dutch activist Edwin Wiek out of Tha Yang, Petchaburi.

“I am now officially sponsored by wfft.org Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand which has stopped me from going under this year but I don’t get many donations generally”, he said.

Donations to Samui Snake Rescue can be made via their Facebook page.

“I have no time for a day job I’m kept very busy with snake and wildlife rescue…I have other business interests that make me enough money to live on but the donations are purely to keep this service going”.

Check out the YouTube clip of the TNA story HERE.

SOURCE: TNA and ThaiVisa

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Koh Samui Weather
December 14, 2018, 3:45 am
25.4
°C
Temperature
100
%
Humidity
25
km/h
Wind from East
8.4
mm
Rainfall
92
%
Cloud Cover

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