Police in Krabi deny they easily let go a man suspected of raping a young Dutch woman in the tourist town of Ao Nang in July.
Piya: Danger spots under surveillance
They said the release of the man on bail was ordered by a court.
Pol Maj Gen Nantadet Yoinual, chief of police in Krabi, yesterday came out to defend his unit after a video clip called Evil Man From Krabi hit local and international news outlets.
The video, posted on YouTube in October, shows the father of the Dutch woman lamenting the rape of his 19-year-old daughter allegedly by a Thai tour guide and how Thai police let the suspect out on bail after capturing him.
The clip has received more than 190,000 views and attracted more than 500 comments.
The assault and rape occurred in tambon Ao Nang on July 28.
The suspect was identified as tour guide Chumpol Khaonual.
Police arrested him on Sept 20 but the suspect has denied the allegations.
Pol Maj Gen Nantadet said Krabi police had opposed Mr Chumpol's bail request but the Krabi provincial court granted him bail.
He said he will have his subordinates post a video clip to respond to the criticism and assured the public that Krabi police were doing their best to protect visitors.
Police spokesman Piya Uthayo said yesterday the video clip could have been posted because of the length of time it took to arrest the suspect.
He said that under Thai law, the suspect could seek bail from the court and that police are monitoring danger-prone locations to prevent such incidents from recurring.
As well as the rape, a young British couple was attacked, and the man stabbed, in the same town by seven youths on Oct 22.
Police managed to arrest two teenagers who allegedly admitted to stabbing the tourist because they thought the couple had verbally abused them.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) insists the tourism industry in Krabi is doing well and has not been affected by the video clip, as reported by some news outlets.
The agency checked with hoteliers in the province yesterday and found that only a few hotels had received cancellations of about 10 rooms each.
Wiyada Srirangkul, director of the TAT's Krabi office, said the average hotel occupancy rate in Krabi currently stands at around 70%, slightly higher than the figure for the same period last year.
The office projected the occupancy rate will be about 90% on average next month.
At present, there are about 400 hotels in Krabi province, with a combined 18,000 rooms.
"What we should do now is send a clear message to tourists to make them feel more confident and safe to visit us," she said.
Narongchai U-Thanang, general manager of the Mercure Krabi Deevana, said so far there have been no inquiries from guests about the video clip.
The hotel says it has not had any cancellations from groups or independent travellers.
Pol Maj Gen Roy Inkapairoj, commander of the Tourist Police Division, said everyone must help to keep tourist sites safe.
Leaving the job to the tourist police alone would only result in failure, he said, because the number of officers nationwide is only 800.
"It's impossible for us to cover all tourism sites around the clock," he said.
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- Writer: Post Reporters