Cambodia says 5 were involved in attack on French tourists
Mar. 01, 2016
BANGKOK (AP) — Cambodia said Tuesday that five of its citizens were involved in an attack in eastern Thailand where four French tourists were assaulted, including two women who were raped. The attack raises fresh concerns about tourist safety in Thailand, which hosted a record 29 million visitors last year.
Cambodia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the men had admitted to the Cambodian ambassador to Thailand that they were involved in the incident. The statement said the men were drunk at the time.
Thai police have already had the suspects in the attack on Koh Kut reenact the crime, a standard procedure in Thai justice. Irate residents tried to attack the men but police pushed them away. Police say they will press charges of rape and conspiracy to commit assault against the five.
Koh Kut is a resort island that is close to Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand.
Trat province police chief Maj. Gen. Nopparat Rintapon said the five suspects jumped off their fishing boat and swam to Koh Kut after they had been drinking. Two of them met the French tourists and began talking to them when the other three came running from the brush where they had been hiding and attacked them with knives and sticks, slashing one of the men badly while the other escaped and run to a hotel for help.
Tourist safety in Thailand has become a major issue since the murders of a British man and woman on the southern resort island of Koh Tao in September 2014. The woman had also been raped. A court sentenced two Myanmar migrants to death in December in a case battered by concerns that the convicted men may have been scapegoats, and that police did not conduct a competent investigation.