The video, called Evil man from Krabi was posted on YouTube on October 23, just under three weeks ago, and by today had received 420,000 views, bordering on going viral.
According to the province’s tourism leaders the damage has already been considerable.
Krabi Tourism Association president, Ittirit Kinglek said, “This video will definitely hurt the province’s tourism industry for a long time to come.
"I am aware that tourists, especially British, have already cancelled their bookings at certain five-star hotels in Krabi because they were not confident about the security in the province.”
The president said the video should serve as an important lesson for the authorities, showing them they need to act fast and deal with crime.
Yet again it puts the Tourist Police in a bad light; the division was created to deal with tourist-related crime and ensure justice for visitors who often need to return home before a crime can be prosecuted in court.
Phi Phi Island, in Krabi province, was the scene of the unexplained deaths of two Canadian sisters earlier this year. The government has gagged officials, leading to allegations of a coevr-up in that case.
“The authorities should not cover up information about cases involving visitors, they should make it clear what they are doing,” Mr Ittirit stressed. He said authorities in Krabi had tried to cover up other crimes against tourists.
“All tourists facing problems should be helped at every step of the way so they do not feel abandoned.”
The video clip Evil Man from Krabi, shows the Dutch father singing about his daughter who was raped after her birthday party at a hotel on Krabi’s Ao Nang Beach.
The father made the clip to campaign for justice after a Thai tourist guide, who was arrested for allegedly raping the teenager, was freed on bail. During his appearance in court he retracted a confession he made earlier to police.
Krabi police deputy commander, Pol Colonel Jongrak Timthong, said the suspect, named as Chumpon Khaonuang, was granted bail after he denied the charges in court.
“His retraction means the court could take a year or even two years to issue a verdict.”
“The father has the right to protest,” the police said.
The birthday party was held at a bar on Ao Nang Beach and, according to the initial police report the suspect offered to take the girl back to her apartment on his motorbike.
In her testimony, the victim told the police that she was beaten so badly that she stopped resisting in order to survive. She was treated for her injuries at Krabi Hospital before she filed a police report and returned to the Netherlands.
The suspect, who was identified by his victim from CCTV footage, was described as a tour guide. If true, this is a serious reflection on the country’s tour guides. Of all the people working in tourism they spend the most time with visitors and tour companies rely on them to act professionally and present a positive image for the country.
On October 22, the day before Evil Man From Krabi was uploaded to YouTube, a British tourist was stabbed several times during an attack in Ao Nang by a gang of youths. Two have been arrested.
Krabi Police have posted a response to Evil Man on YouTube. But it is in Thai only.
Pol Col Thaksin Phochakorn,Superintendent of Krabi Town Police Station told The Phuket News, “All evidence was collated and sent to the Krabi court.
“The case is now in the hands of the Prosecutor’s Office. I repect the judgement of the Krabi prosecutor.
“We are police. We have to be be fair to everyone. And, whatever happens [in a case like this], [everything and] everyone has to be considered by the judge.
“The comments on the YouTube video are uncontrolled audience opinions. Our duty is to look after the people here. The critics may not know the details but we know them, and we have to protect both the victim and the suspect.
“We and others take good care of security in Krabi. We cooperate with all the individual sections and officials. I am sure that Krabi is a safe place and a good place for tourism.”