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The British paramedic who withheld vital information about the death of British tourist Luke Miller on Koh Tao in 2016 has unfathomably been employed by the British Embassy in Bangkok.
The British Embassy confirmed by email to the editor of the Samui Times on the 9th of January 2018 that Steven Drylie now holds the role of ‘Pro Consul’ at the British Embassy in Bangkok.
The news has come as a huge shock to those following the disproportionate number of tourist deaths on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, including the families of several of the victims whose true causes of death still remain a mystery.
Luke Miller, 26, from the Isle of Wight, was found dead in the Sunset Bar swimming pool on the 8th of January 2016. According to the local police and the owners of the Sunset Bar, his death was caused by misadventure. They suggested that Luke climbed over barbed wire to access the top of a DJ booth before diving head first into a swimming pool to show off. Luke’s body was not found until the following morning. However, those travelling with Luke did not buy the story, and neither did many locals.
Luke Miller, according to his travel companions, was not a swimmer and would never have dived into a pool. Another fact that does not add up is that the pool and surrounding area were empty, so there was nobody to ‘show off’ to.
A Thai post-mortem on Luke concluded that he drowned but made no mention of bruises that resembled hand prints found on the upper part of his body that went unreported in the mainstream media.
There has been much speculation about what happened on that fateful night. We do know that CCTV footage places Luke at the Sunset Bar until the early hours of the morning, however security guards did not find him in the pool when they made their rounds at 5.30am the following morning. In fact, his body was not discovered until around 7.20am.
The Samui Times contacted British Paramedic Steven Drylie with regards to the death of Luke Miller not long after his death. At that time Drylie was working with the Koh Tao Rescue Team and was on the scene soon after the body was found.
It seemed that Drylie also did not buy the ‘jumping of the DJ booth’ story and told the Samui Times: “hmmmmm, what do you want me to say? Did he hit his head while diving? No, unless he bounced off the bottom of the pool a few times.” The Samui Times asked Drylie whether he thought there had been foul play involved whereupon he told our reporter confidentially: “not sure, I don’t think it was intentional, I think there was a fight.” However, his findings were apparently never reported to local police, the British Embassy, the UK coroner or Luke’s family. Even more concerning Drylie told our reporter: “the police even asked us did we drop him or disturb any evidence he had to his head, you see we as rescue always protect ourselves. We have brains. We did not remove the body from the pool until the ME (medical examiner) was at the scene and together with about 30 other law enforcement people there, they are stupid, they did everything not to make this a murder case. They are still tarnished with the other case.” He was referring to the brutal murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.
Drylie’s utter lack of professionalism and what is tantamount to withholding vital evidence on this case, shocked the international community after the Samui Times published screenshots of Drylie’s admissions that the outcome of the police investigation into Millers death was likely incorrect. Click here for the story
Drylie was heavily criticized on social media and it seems has since left Koh Tao and gained employment with the British Embassy.
Interestingly, Drylie was also present at the murder scene of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller he expressed his concern to the Samui Times on that case too, stating that the Burmese men convicted of the murders were scapegoats and would be released at some point in the future, and not executed as was feared.
On 16 February 2017 Shelly Bot, 50, from Penticton, Vancouver, Canada was struck by a taxi boat while snorkelling around Koh Tao with her partner, Jack Williams. Steven Drylie said that Shelly had been snorkelling in a boat lane, and was responsible for her own accident in a letter he wrote to the Samui Times. However this was also incorrect. In contrast, Williams told the Penticton Herald: “There are areas roped off that boats aren’t supposed to go through, but the water taxis go through them anyway.” Shelly’s then 19 year old son, Kevin Bot also confirmed on Canadian television that a boat driver decided to take a shortcut and struck her breaking her neck.
Drylie also told the Samui Times that a body of a woman found on Koh Tao in April 2017 partially eaten by lizards was not actually found on Koh Tao at all, but was found on Koh Phangan, this was also utterly untrue. The body that was indeed found on Koh Tao, was that of Elise Dallemagne, 30, from Belgium. At best, Drylie had been totally reckless in his public statement about Elise or at worst he had blatantly lied again.
Should a man who has blatantly lied and apparently withheld vital information be allowed to work for the British Embassy in a position of trust and in charge of the wellbeing of British tourists in Thailand? – A country where he had without doubt been complicit in ensuring the truth on several deaths never came to light? Do the staff at the British Embassy know of his past shenanigans on the Mafia run island of Koh Tao AKA. Death Island? Have they done a background check? A simple google search with the terms “Steven Drylie” and “Koh Tao” bring to light his dubious past. Should tourists feel safe when members of the Embassy paid to help them have done anything but help, but have rather withheld evidence and told blatant lies as to the whereabouts of dead bodies? Is it acceptable for the British Embassy in Bangkok to employ staff who have, in the past, wilfully distorted or at the very least, not reported the facts on tourist deaths to the appropriate authorities, facts and information vital to solving mysterious tourist deaths on Koh Tao, which haunt the families of the victims to this day? We think not!