TRAT — Five Cambodian fishermen accused of raping two French tourists and viciously assaulting their two male companions on Koh Kut were taken to the scene of the attack for a renactment on Monday.
Trat police took Thi, Bot Man, Yim, Pai and Jern from Koh Kut police station to the road where the five trawler crew members allegedly attacked four French tourists, raping the two women.
Border Patrol Police, defence volunteers and rescue workers formed a cordon around the five suspects as angry local residents tried to mob them.
One resident managed to reach one of the suspects and punched him before being hauled away.
The reenactment showed the five young men acted in two groups on Saturday night, one targeting a 57-year-old French woman and the other going for her 28-year-old female compatriot.
The suspects demonstrated to police how they used knives and sticks to attack Thomas Buiron, 30, and Edbri Ronain Rene, 29, who were walking with the two women about 1km from the resort where they stayed.
After the reenactment the five suspects were quickly whisked away and returned to the police station.
The tourist police officer in charge of protecting visitors to Koh Kut, Pol Maj Kitwut Putnual, has been transferred to an inactive post at the Tourist Police Division in Bangkok.
National police chief Pol Gen Jakthip Chaijinda said on Monday the police major's transfer was necessary because he had been slow to report the details of the case to his superior.
The case would be taken as a lesson for police to remedy flaws in their present measures to ensure the safety of tourists, he said. Authorities would not lower their guard when it came to protection for visitors to Thailand.