“We’re tracking down the other three,” who included Facebook page administrator Pramuk Anantasin, media reports quoted deputy Tourist Police chief Surachate Hakparn as saying on today (Sept 5).
Mr Pramuk was believed to be living in the United States, but if he returned to Thailand immigration officers would arrest him immediately, Maj Gen Surachate said.
The swift operation, led by Royal Thai Police technological crime suppression centre, followed the approval of 12 arrest warrants by Samui Provincial Court in Surat Thani on charges of violating the Computer Crime Act.
All the detained suspects would be handed over to local police for legal action, Maj Gen Surachate said.
CSI LA and Samui Times, an online English news website, have been in hot water since reports of the alleged rape appeared on their pages and were shared.
The Samui Times owner, British national Suzanne Buchanan, is also wanted on similar charges.
Authorities took action after an initial inquiry found no evidence to support the 19-year-old backpacker’s claim, in a story carried by the London tabloid The Sun, that she was drugged, robbed and raped on Koh Tao on June 25. She alleged local police would not record her complaint of sexual assault.
Investigators questioned her claim that she was drugged at a beach bar and then carried further along the beach, where she was raped. They said the tide was very high along that stretch of beach at the time and her allegation was not believable.
The resort island, adjacent to Full Moon Party island Koh Pha-Ngan, was thrown into a negative light by two earlier cases.
In 2015, 23-year-old British backpacker Christina Annesley was found dead on Koh Tao, but investigators were not convinced she was murdered because they found no sign of physical assault or rape.
In 2014, the scenic island’s image was further marred by the murder of two British tourists, Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, in September.
Two Myanmar men were found guilty and sentenced to death. They have appealed.
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