PHUKET, June 23 – Police fast tracked sketching of two assailants who fatally stabbed Australian tourist, as a Bt300,000 bounty has been announced for information leading to the arrest of the two attackers.
Michelle Elizabeim, 60, an Australian tourist, was fatally stabbed during an armed robbery on June 20 in the compound of the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort in Phuket, while her companion, not identified, was severely wounded and remains hospitalised.
Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Pansiri Prapawat said the investigation was progressing after gathering information from witnesses and CCTV footage from six cameras around the complex.
Gen Pansiri earlier chaired a meeting with the Commander of the Provincial Police Region 8 Pol Lt Gen Santi Pensutr, Phuket Provincial Commander Pol Maj Gen Chonasit Wattanavrangkul, and representatives from relevant agencies to follow up on the case.
Gen Pansiri said that the two attackers were 20-25 years old and around 170 cm tall. The investigation team was compiling sketches of them in order to publicise the pictures.
He said the Phuket police, Provincial Police Region 8 headquarters, Tourist Police, Highway Police and Marine Police were coordinating to search for the murderers.
The Bt300,000 reward –Bt100,000 each from Commander of the Provincial Police Region 8, Phuket Provincial Commander, and Katathani Phuket Beach Resort– is offered for information leading to arrest of the two attackers who appeared on CCTV footage that captured the moment of the stabbing.
Gen Pansiri said the incident has affected Thailand’s image on tourism so that the agencies concerned –including Phuket police, Provincial Police Region 8 headquarters, Tourist Police, Highway Police and Immigration Bureau–should step up security measures to protect foreign tourists and their belongings.
He said safety was one factor for tourists deciding whether or not to travel to Thailand.