Police: no evidence of rape

Police: no evidence of rape

Mother of alleged victim to visit Koh Tao

Deputy tourist police chief Surachate 'Big Joke' Hakparn walked the beach, interviewed witnesses and held a public meeting during his fact-finding trip to Koh Tao on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Tourist Police)
Deputy tourist police chief Surachate 'Big Joke' Hakparn walked the beach, interviewed witnesses and held a public meeting during his fact-finding trip to Koh Tao on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Tourist Police)

A police team from Bangkok say they have found no evidence or witnesses indicating that a rape or drugging took place on Koh Tao as claimed by a British woman.

However, provincial police in Surat Thani are still working on the case even though no complaint had yet been officially filed. They also said that the mother of the 19-year-old woman would fly to Thailand next month. 

Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy tourist police chief, told Thai News Agency in Bangkok on Thursday that a team of 100 policemen from Bangkok have concluded their investigation into the claim.

“According to forensic and scientific evidence we collected based on the woman’s account, we found that no rape or drugging had taken place,” he said.

“The woman claimed she drank on Sairee beach in front of the Leo pub on the night in question [June 25]. It was the day before the full moon and the tide was high. Seawater flooded the beach and almost entered the pub so it was impossible for anyone to eat or drink on the beach that night.

“World Cup matches were also being broadcast at the time and there were a lot of people, as well as police, in the area. It was quite impossible for someone to carry an unconscious woman and wade through the water to rape her behind rocks without anyone noticing,” he said.

He added that police also did not find semen traces on the rocks or in the rooms where the damaged party and her friends were staying.

“However, we’re open to new evidence. Since the victim did not even contact the UK consul in Thailand, who is in charge of the safety of British nationals in the kingdom, we urge her to submit her evidence and give statements so we can investigate further. We’re even willing to take her statements in the UK if she doesn’t feel safe here.”

The police also asked the consul to help coordinate with the victim to bring them the evidence so they could take further action. If the case turns out to be groundless, the Samui Times news website and CSI LA Facebook might face computer crime charges for spreading false information, he added. 

Provincial police said on Thursday that the mother of the British woman was en route to the island and her daughter might follow suit to file an official complaint within before the deadline at the end of next month. Pol Maj Gen Apichart Boonsriroj, chief of Surat Thani police, said the mother had already contacted the British embassy in Thailand to arrange for her to visit Koh Tao.

The provincial police commander also said that more interrogators were being deployed to verify the young woman's report and to answer questions, especially those from the mother.

Interrogators were combing through the route from the young woman's hostel to Sairee beach. The police officers were collecting evidence and talking to potential witnesses along the route where the young woman bought a drink from a vendor's vehicle, Pol Maj Gen Apichart said.

He said there were four surveillance cameras on the beach and with recordings going back as long as three months. Police were examining the footage. Pol Maj Gen Apichart said that the young woman should return by herself to file an official complaint and her presence could facilitate the investigation. She has until September 25.

Koh Tao police have informed her through the British embassy of the deadline and their intention to question her and have local doctors examine her in Thailand. If the woman was unable to arrive within the deadline, she could ask the embassy to file a complaint on her behalf before the deadline.

Pol Lt Gen Sorasak said it was impossible for police on Koh Phangan to reject her rape complaint. They would be severely reprimanded for any such refusal.

Initial reports said that the woman did not file her rape complaint right away with Koh Tao police because she was rushing to Koh Phangan to meet her boyfriend who was arriving for a full moon party.

Surat Thani interrogators collect evidence and witnesses related to the alleged rape case in June on Koh Tao island on Thursday. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

Deputy tourist police chief Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn shows a photo taken in Koh Tao after meeting the British consul in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

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Vocabulary

  • behalf (noun): on someone's behalf; as a representative of - ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
  • consul: an official chosen by a government to live in a foreign city, in order to take care of people from the official's own country who travel or live there, and to protect the trade interests of that government - กงสุล
  • deadline: a time or day by which something must be done - เส้นตาย
  • deploy: (of police or soldiers) to put in place ready for action - ส่ง (ทหาร, ตำรวจ) ประจำการ.
  • facilitate: to make it possible or easier for something to happen - ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
  • file: to take official action like making a complaint - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง
  • forensic: relating to the use of scientific methods to solve  crimes or to find out why something happened - เกี่ยวกับนิติวิทยาศาสตร์
  • groundless: based on no good reasons or facts - ไม่มีมูลความจริง
  • interrogator: a person who asks someone a lot of questions in order to get information - ผู้สอบถาม, ผู้ซักถาม
  • reprimand: to tell someone officially and in a serious way that something they have done is wrong - ตำหนิ, ว่ากล่าว
  • semen (noun): the whitish liquid containing sperm that is produced by the sex organs of men and male animals - น้ำอสุจิ
  • severely: very seriously - อย่างรุนแรง
  • submit: to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
  • surveillance camera: a camera kept in a place to record what happens there, especially criminal activity - กล้องวงจรปิดเพื่อรักษาการความปลอดภัย
  • unconscious : in a sleeplike condition, usually from an illness or injury - หมดสติ
  • urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
  • verify: to prove that something is true, or to make certain that something is correct - พิสูจน์ว่าเป็นความจริง
  • wade: to walk with an effort through something, especially water or mud - ลุย เดินท่องน้ำ หรือ โคลน
  • witness: a person who sees something happen or knows about something - ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์, พยาน

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