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Two years ago today, 20th of August 2014, German citizen Volker Schwartges, 46, was brutally murdered in Soi Green Mango. The murder took place after Mr Schwartges, from Dusseldorf, had an altercation with three Thai youths he found sitting on his motorbike in the car park of the notorious Green Mango Club. Three of the perpetrators were apprehended just hours after the fatal attack. At the police station they confessed to beating Schwartges, hitting him several times with broken bottles before a Thai local named Ittison Tanprasert (17) slit his neck with a knife and perforated a main artery which caused the death of the German. The knife was secured later and kept as evidence. To this day none of the culprits have been to court, despite their confession at the Bophut police station they were allowed to walk free. It is unclear whether they walked free on bail or due to some alternative payment…. Several newspapers such as Duesseldorfer Express, BILD, FARANG, Wochenblitz and also Thai newspapers such as Bangkok Post, The Nation and Samui Times and Phuket Gazette reported on this murder case. However, very soon after the killings the case went quiet, no further questions were asked. The case went cold and so did the files.
Investigations by FARANG and Duesseldorfer Express seemed to revive the case in November 2014, when a letter to the Thai Embassy and Thai Foreign Office in Berlin was sent. The questions were: Why did the public prosecutor’s office Koh Samui – three months after the killing of Schwartges – not receive police files with investigation results and conclusions? A letter by the Royal Thai Embassy Berlin stated that the case was being investigated again and police in Chaweng were urged to move forward with their murder investigation. As a deadline 18/11/2014 was set – however, our research into this case showed no movement, at all. Nothing happened till today and no files were ever handed over to the court.
Another research at public prosecutor’s office Koh Samui, namely general attorney Paibul Achawanantakul showed that no police file had ever been presented by spring time 2015. A final call at Khun Paibul’s office was answered by the leaving public attorney in April 2015 – he confirmed that he never ever received a conclusive investigation report by Chaweng police. In May 2015 Paibul Achawanantakul was transferred, nobody ever resumed the murder case Schwartges, again.
Eye witnesses report seeing the main suspect Ittison Tanprasert, now 19, frequently while hanging out with his friends in Chaweng – and also in the area of the Discothèque Sound Club where the murder took place in August 2014. The describe him a man who shows off as a murderer who was untouchable and protected by his local family and a protégé of the mafia.
One year after the killing of Volker Schwartges the German magazine DER FARANG came up with a headline-story. On 20th of August 2015 a story was being published with a provocative content: In the article it appears Schwartges wrote ‘himself’ as if he was still alive and complained about his murder and the sloppy investigation. Behind this story were friends and family of the murdered German who cannot understand to this day why murderers run free with the help of police and public prosecution in Koh Samui. The report was duplicated in various German and English newspapers but never resulted in any reaction by Thai authorities.
The Mother of Volker Schwartges, Gisela Schwartges (74) from Duesseldorf, has now sent rousing letters to Thai and German authorities in German, English and Thai reminding them of the murder of her only child and begging them to take action.
On 20th of August 2016, two years to the day after the murder of Volker Schwartges in Koh Samui, several newspapers will join and report again about a case that has turned cold – such as the victim Volker Schwartges himself. The mother Gisela Schwartges hopes to awake the authorities and finally convince them to have a second look into this negligent murder investigation by Chaweng Bophut police forces.
The question has to be asked that if a German citizen gets murdered in the centre of Chaweng, a touristic hotspot in Thailand, and authorities turn a blind eye and let murderers run free – how can there be any kind of assurance that it will not happen again, or is it just a matter of time?