Acting Thai police chief: murderers in killing of British tourists will be arrested soon

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BANGKOK, Sept 24 Thailand’s acting national police chief Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit expressed confidence that the killers of two Britons on Ko Tao last week will be arrested ‘soon,’ while revealing that some suspects might be hiding in Bangkok.

Pol Gen Watcharapol said that some suspects in the Sept 15 murders on Ko Tao island in Surat Thani were detained for interrogation but they had not been arrested.

He also said that detectives and forensic police and medical doctors from Bangkok were sent to Ko Tao to help local police find more evidence.

In response to foreign media accusations that the Thai authorities were slow in the investigation, Pol Gen Watcharapol said the task had to depend on science, so it would take time. He admitted that DNA samples from two speedboat attendants did not match those collected from the vagina of the female victim and other evidence.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said the incident was a painful lesson and there were certainly impacts.

It is a priority now to restore tourists’ confidence in safety here, she said.

She expressed her condolences on the death of the two British tourists to the British embassy and their families and gave assurances that the Thai authorities would arrest the culprits.

According to the British consulate, about 800,000 Britons visit Thailand annually.

The number is the second biggest after Russian visitors, and they have high purchasing power.

They spend about 7,000 baht per person per day and stay 16 days per visit on average.

Since 2009, 12 Britons have died in Thailand.