The provincial police held an urgent meeting of senior officers and investigators with knowledge of the issue yesterday (Aug 26). National police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda has ordered legal experts at the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to look into reports about the alleged rape, said Surat Thani police commander Apichart Boonsriroj.
Britain’s The Sun newspaper reported that a 19-year-old backpacker said she was left traumatised after she was drugged, stripped, robbed and subjected to a nightmare sex ordeal on Koh Tao.
She fled to a neighbouring island before reporting the attack to Koh Tao police. But yesterday, she accused police of refusing to investigate her rape allegation while noting only details of the robbery, according to the report.
The online news report said the woman had been out drinking with friends in the local Fish Bowl Bar then moved to the nearby Leo Bar, where she believes her drink was spiked.
The teenager passed out then woke up on the Sairee Beach to find she had been stripped and that a man – who had been seen eyeing her up at the bar earlier – was lying next to her grinning, according to the Aug 23 report.
At the police meeting yesterday, Koh Pha-Ngan police superintendent Col Sathit Kongnian said that on June 27, the teenager, accompanied by a foreign male friend, went to Koh Pha-Ngan police to file a complaint about a mobile phone and B3,000 cash which she lost on Sairee Beach in tambon Koh Tao on June 25.
However, the woman could not confirm whether she had been robbed or she had lost the phone and the cash.
Col Sathit said the police advised her she needed to file the complaint with police in the jurisdiction where her valuables and cash went missing.
The woman told police it would be inconvenient for her lodge the complaint with another station and that she had no intention to pursue the legal action.
She added she only needed documentary proof of the police having heard her complaint so she could seek an insurance payout for the lost phone and money.
The Koh Pha-Ngan police insisted the woman did not submit a rape complaint with them, according to Col Sathit.
Meanwhile, Lt Col Napa Senathip, deputy inspector chief of the Koh Tao police, said that on Aug 8, the police had been informed by the owner of a local hostel that the woman had sent a message and claimed she had been raped and robbed of her phone. She demanded the hostel owner accept responsibility for the robbery and the attack.
Upon contact from the owner, the Koh Tao police went to investigate. Police examined closed-circuit cameras installed in the area. However, no footage was available for review as it had been too long since the alleged crime had taken place. By then the woman had already returned to Britain and could not be interviewed by local police, according to Lt Col Napa.
Maj Gen Apichart said checks found the woman arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on June 13 and said she intended staying at Khao San Rd. She left the country on July 2.
RTP deputy spokesman Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said Gen Chakthip has instructed all police units to quickly probe the case. Local police will also probe the matter.
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