SURAT THANI – Thailand’s Police have arrested all but one of 12 people accused of publishing or “sharing” a CSI LA Facebook report about the alleged rape of a 19-year-old British tourist on Koh Tao.
Deputy Tourist Police chief, Surachate Hakparn, said the police have tracked down everyone named in the warrant except the CSI LA Facebook page administrator identified as Pramuk, aka David, Anantasin. Mr Pramuk, who lives in the United States and has American nationality, has insisted on his innocence and said he would further investigate the alleged rape case.
He was speaking via a Suthichai Yoon Facebook page live interview.
According to Pol Maj Gen Surachate, the charge against the CSI LA Facebook page administrator has nothing to do with its analysis about the alleged sexual assault — an incident police ruled did not take place. He said that it is because the page published distorted information that tainted the country’s image and affected its tourism business in the same manner as the Samui Times allegedly did.
Last week, an arrest warrant was issued for Suzanne Buchanan, the British-national owner and administrator of Samui Times, a Thailand-based online publication, for allegedly violating the computer crime law over its report about the alleged rape.
Pol Maj Gen Surachate, who also heads the Royal Thai Police’s technology crime suppression centre, said he will travel to Koh Tao police station today to question the suspects who allegedly shared the article.
The Bangkok Post reported that warrants were approved by the Samui Provincial Court in Surat Thani on charges of violating the Computer Crime Act and the detained suspects would be handed over to local police for legal action. The 19-year-old woman tourist told British media that she was drugged, robbed and raped on Koh Tao on June 25, and alleged local police would not record her complaint of sexual assault.
Police said she never filed a complaint about being raped but complained only that her belongings went missing. Investigators questioned her claim that she was drugged at a bar and then carried further along the beach, where she was raped. They said evidence suggested it was unlikely because the tide was high along that stretch of beach at the time.