BANGKOK – Police in Thailand said Tuesday that they have dismissed a 19-year-old British tourist’s claim that she was raped on a Thai resort island after their investigation revealed no supporting evidence.
Police said at a news conference that three officers were sent to England to debrief the woman, who had told some news outlets that she was raped on the southern Thai island of Koh Tao in June. They said she was not able to provide key details such as where the alleged rape occurred, a detailed description of the suspect or how the alleged rape unfolded, and that they have insufficient evidence to continue investigating the case.
Police said they examined a shirt handed over to them by the woman and found that it had no traces of semen on it.
The woman, who has since returned to England, has told journalists she believes she was drugged by someone who spiked her drink, and woke up on a beach to find that she had been raped and robbed. She said police had refused to accept her rape complaint, but police said she never filed one.
Police Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakphal, Thailand’s acting immigration police chief, said police began their investigation after seeing news reports of the woman’s claims appear in newspapers and on websites.
He said the woman would not be charged for filing a false police complaint because she never officially filed one.
Surachet said it was the first time Thai police had ever flown overseas to investigate a victim’s claim.
“Whenever something like this happens at an important tourist spot in Thailand, not just Koh Tao, but in all spots, we have to reveal the truth,” Surachet said.
Koh Tao, though popular with foreign backpackers, has gained an unsavory reputation since the murders of British nationals Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, who were beaten to death on a beach there in 2014.
The Associated Press