Two British tourists were found beaten to death on a beach on southern Thailand’s Koh Tao Island, one of the country’s most popular diving destinations.
The victims are unidentified as of this post. However, Thailand police have revealed that the British tourists are a 23-year-old woman from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and a 24-year-old man from Jersey, Channel Islands.
According to USA Today, a police spokesperson has said that a possible murder weapon was found nearby. Prachum Ruangthong said that a bloody hoe was found near the scene, and that it is being considered as a possible murder weapon.
“The man was chopped in the back and on the side of his head, while the woman was chopped in her face. It’s very gruesome.”
According to The Huffington Post, no suspects have been identified as of this post. Police spokesperson Kiattipong Khawsamang said that the island’s police are checking surveillance cameras from area bars, nightclubs, and hotels, and are interviewing potential witnesses who might know what happened to the British tourists.
“We don’t know who the suspect might be yet but we have talked to different witnesses who might lead us to some clues.”
Police say the British tourists did not travel to the island together, but met while staying at the same hotel.
“They went out to a bar and left together after 1 a.m. according to closed circuit TV camera footage.”
As word of the attack on the British tourists spread, locals blocked the island’s docks to prohibit the suspects from leaving. Koh Tao, like many of Thailand’s islands, is heavily dependent on tourism.
Some 850,000 British tourists visit Thailand each year, drawn by its scenic beaches, magnificent diving, and vibrant nightlife, according to BBC News. Koh Tao, where the two British tourists were murdered, is more rustic and serene, compared to Thailand’s other islands known for their wild partying.
The Thailand government and Thai tourist industry are scrambling to convince tourists that the country is still safe for tourists in the wake of the violence that still lingers in places due to the country’s recent military coup. Despite the recent violence, Thailand is generally considered a safe destination for tourists, although the State Department, according to this Inquisitr report, is warning Americans to keep a low profile to avoid terrorist attacks.
Since 2009, 11 British tourists have been murdered in Thailand.
[Image courtesy of: The Standard]