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Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to “Reward Police” for Solving Koh Tao Murder Case



Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Friday that he would offer rewards to the police team for their well-done job in their successful resolving of the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao in mid-September.

He said that he had received a report about the progress of the case from Pol Gen Somyos Poompanmuang, the national police chief on Thursday when three suspects were arrested and an update report the following day when DNA samples of the two suspects, migrant workers from Myanmar, were proven to match with those found in the body of one of the victims.

The prime minister said he was confident that the police had done a good job and that the two suspects were not scapegoats.  As such, he added that the police team responsible for resolving the case deserved to be praised and rewarded.

General Prayuth said he could not predict that tourism situation would be improved or not after the successful resolving of the murder case because there are other factors which may have impacts on the tourism industry.

He pleaded with the media not to link the murder case to tourism in general because they were not connected.

When asked whether martial law should be lifted in tourist destinations, the prime minister declined to give an answer questioning whether killings would stop if martial law was to be lifted.

Meanwhile, the Thai military and the police launched a crackdown on illegal foreign migrant workers on Koh Tao after it was discovered that business operators on the island deliberately refused to give the accurate information about the number of foreign migrant workers they have employed.

The imminent crackdown follows the arrest of two Myanmar migrant workers suspected of involvement in the murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao in mid-September.

Maj-Gen Thinachat Chinda-ngern, commander of Surat Thani provincial military command, said today that the military had conducted an investigation about the number of foreign migrant workers on Koh Tao and found out that there were about 7,000 of them but business operators reported only about 4,000.

“What about the other 3,000 and where have they gone?” he asked.

The officer also blamed business operators of being uncooperative with the authorities about disclosing the real figure of foreign migrant workers they have hired.  For that matter, he said that legal actions would be taken against the business operators for allegedly providing shelter to illegal workers in case they did not tell the truths about the illegal workers.

As for the illegal foreign migrant workers mostly Burmese, the officer said that a crackdown would be launched against them.

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