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Letter to the editor – crime in paradise

 Like many expats living here in Thailand for any length of time suspect many crimes, particularly those involving violence against foreign nationals are conveniently kept quiet or quickly forgotten.
Its long been suspected by some that a number of highly sensitive crimes are  concluded by the police far too promptly without a proper investigation or even conveniently swept under the carpet.
One such case comes to mind in 2013 when a young German bar owner with everything to live for, when his marked and bruised body was found face down in a few inches of water in the Chaweng Lake, Koh Samui. The police quickly concluded the case with little supporting evidence and his death was simply put down as suicide.
The reason of course is the effect of such controversial cases finding their way in the International press might have on tourism numbers and the much needed revenue it brings to the Thai economy.
The issue was made worse in 2014 by a coup de etat with martial law and the media censorship the military junta put in place. Predictably tourists particularly from the west deserted Thailand in their droves.
The latest of these seemingly dodgy cases is of course the Koh Tao murders of  September 2014 when poor Hannah Witheridge (23) and David Miller (24) were so brutally and tragically murdered.
It’s no secret that the Thai police are both inept and corrupt and many believe the investigation was not only botched but vital forensic evidence may not have been collected correctly. The one thing for sure though, the Thai authorities don’t want Thais involved and therefore a scapegoat would be more than convenient.
Two Myanmar migrants workers were subsequently arrested and now await trial in a few months’ time with the very real possibility they will face execution when found guilty.
We now learn that the Migrant Worker Rights Network have launched an appeal to support an adequate defense and appoint lawyers to represent the defendants.
All of us want to see a fair and transparent trial and many would like to genuinely help but how could anyone trust the Thai justice system of which we have all heard appalling reports.
Perhaps more importantly how could anyone trust a cash collecting scheme in Thailand knowing full well somewhere Thais will be involved in handling peoples donations with the inevitable corruption that’s also bound to be involved.
Indeed the prospects of both young Zaw Lin and Wei Phyo the Myranmar defendants do not look at all good but if by some stroke of incredible luck they are acquitted. Following so much time since the event it is doubtful if the real perpetrators of this hennas crime will ever be brought to justice.
Ginger Marks.



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