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Thai police head to the UK to interview the alleged Koh Tao rape victim

The Thaiger

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Thai police head to the UK to interview the alleged Koh Tao rape victim | The Thaiger

The British Embassy in Thailand has given approval to a request by Thai police to visit the UK and question a woman who claims she was drugged, raped and robbed on Koh Tao in June. This was revealed by deputy tourist police chief Surachate Hakparn.

“The police team investigating the rape claim will be heading to the UK soon,” he said.

Thai PBS reports that police want to hear the claim directly and make the investigation as clear as possible. Surachete says that if the rape claim can be proven to be groundless legal action will definitely be pursued against the woman making the claim (how legal action against a UK citizen, in the UK, can be pursued by Thai police whilst in the UK was not made immediately apparent).

The Thai police have yet to receive a report on the questioning of the British woman which the British police had previously promised to send to them, he said.

Thai police have been investigating the rape claim by the 19 year old British woman said to occur on Koh Tao on June 25.

The British tourist reported to police in June that she was robbed on the island. But upon her return to Britain, she told police there that she had also been raped.

Media have reported that the woman said she was turned away by Thai police when she tried to report the rape. Police denied this and say their investigation determined her complaint of rape was groundless.

British media however reported that she was drugged, robbed and raped on Koh Tao on June 25 and alleged local police would not record her complaint of sexual assault.

Thai police said she never filed a complaint about being raped but complained only that her belongings went missing. Investigators questioned her claim that she was drugged at a bar and then carried further along the beach, where she was raped. They said evidence suggested it was unlikely because the tide was high along that stretch of beach at the time.

The Thaiger has previously published the tide times on the night of the alleged rape where it shows a high tide around 9pm with a low tide at 1pm on the same day and 7am the following morning. Without knowing the exact time of the alleged incident – it has not been reported – it is impossible to find support for the police’s claim.

Thai police head to the UK to interview the alleged Koh Tao rape victim | News by The Thaiger

Deputy tourist police chief Surachate Hakparn delivers a report of the initial investigation by police to the British Embassy in Bangkok.



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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 11, 2018, 3:22 am
27.5
°C
Temperature
100
%
Humidity
15
km/h
Wind from East
0.0
mm
Rainfall
48
%
Cloud Cover
34
Heat Index

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