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Phuket Police Have Zero Suspects in the Murder Case of Swiss Woman

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Phuket Police Have Zero Suspects in the Murder Case of Swiss Woman

Thailand’s National police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk has told a press briefing that police have no suspect yet in the murder of a Swiss woman in Phuket.

The National Police Chief went to Phuket on Friday with a large team of experienced detectives and forensic experts from Bangkok to head up the investigation.

Swiss National Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, 57, deputy protocol chief of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland, was found raped and murdered at Ao Yon waterfall in Phuket on Thursday afternoon. A Police forensics officer said he believed she had been dead for approximately two days.

Thailand’s police chief said he brought forensic science and forensic medicine experts from Bangkok, as well as experienced detectives from the Central Investigation Bureau, the Crime Suppression Division, Provincial Police Region 8, the Tourist Police and the Immigration Bureau.

Pol Gen Suwat said said the specialty teams have been deployed for a thorough investigation. We have lots of homework to do. We will open an operations centre and work around the clock until the culprit is arrested.

CID Detectives were looking for everyone with possible access to the crime scene at the time of the murder. Going by the condition of the body, police believed it was murder. They had no suspect at this stage, he said.

CCTV camera footage showed the victim went alone to Ao Yon waterfall, which is a tourist attraction in Phuket. He said he did not know who owned the shoes found at the crime scene and that police were waiting for the official autopsy and forensic reports.

Earlier on Friday, Dr Chalermpong Sukhonthaphol, director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, said forensic doctors at the hospital examined the body on Thursday. He refused to elaborate on the initial autopsy report.

“The Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Royal Thai Police Office will do another autopsy. Many things have yet to be done. In a murder case, DNA, blood and bodily fluids must be sent to Bangkok to find the cause of death as soon as possible,” the hospital director said.

On Friday the Bangkok Post released the victim’s timeline since her arrival in Phuket, ending with her 18-minute walk, alone from her hotel near Ao Yon beach to the waterfall, about 1.4 kilometres away, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the rape and murder of a 57 year-old Swiss woman in Phuket has shaken tourist confidence and seriously affected the Phuket sandbox scheme, says Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry.

“Every authority involved with the Phuket sandbox including Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry has to share the responsibility,” said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister.

“This incident should not have happened. The sandbox scheme was starting to gather pace and many countries are keeping an eye on us,” Mr Phiphat said.

Mr Phiphat said now greater cooperation between security agencies, the Tourist Police Bureau and Phuket governors will be required in order to improve confidence in tourism.

In addition to a security upgrade in Phuket, he said all sandbox destinations must tighten security measures in order to convince foreign tourists they will be safe while travelling in Thailand.

 

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