Cabbie caught, charged with raping Brazilian tourist

Cabbie caught, charged with raping Brazilian tourist

The taxi driver accused of raping Brazilian tourist was tracked down and arrested on Wednesday, and is reported to be have been involved in two previous sexual assaults on women passengers.

Khamkhuncharoen Khonchaturas, 44, of Nakhon Ratchasima’s Sikhiu district, was apprehended while hiding out on Samakkhi Road in Nonthaburi.

Police initially pressed charges of rape, illegal detention, and theft with violence.

On Tuesday, the 22-year-old Brazilian woman filed a complaint with local police in Suphan Buri, saying she had been raped by a taxi driver after she waved down his cab in front of Don Mueang airport on arrival from Malaysia about 1.30pm.

She asked to go to Soi Thong Lor in the inner city, but the driver instead took her through the outskirts of the city to Suphan Buri, where she was later found in tambon Thung Khok of Song Phi Nong district. 

Mr Khamkhuncharoen allegedly stopped his cab beside a eucalyptus plantation and assaulted, overpowered and raped her. He then abandoned her beside the road, where she was found by a local resident.

Earlier, Thai media reported that she was assaulted in a paddy field.

The suspect was on Wednesday taken to the crrime scene, the eucalyptus plantation in Song Phi Nong district, and then to Suphan Buri provincial court, where the Brazilian victim identified him as the rapist.

Friends of the victim earlier posted messages on their Facebook pages seeking her whereabouts after she failed to arrive at the arranged meeting place in Thong Lor on Tuesday. Her disappearance sparked worries for her safety. 

There were media reports that the Brazilian victim, who has not been named, is a former beauty queen.

Police said criminal records showed driver Khamkhuncharoen was involved in two previous rape cases, according to Daily News Online.

The first involves a 20-year-old Thai woman who was raped in Lat Lum Kaeo district of Pathum Thani on Sept 24, 2008. The second case involves a 25-year-old Myanmar woman who was raped on Kamphaeng Phet 6 Road in Thung Song Hong area, Bangkok on Jan 9, 2013, the report said.

Khaosod Online reported the driver had served a prison term for rape and was recently released.


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