Surat Thani provincial police insisted today that there was no rape case on Koh Tao island involving a British backpacker as alleged in the social media.
Koh Pha-ngan police superintendent Pol Col Sathit Kongnian said during a video conference today with Pol Maj-Gen Apichart Boonsrirote, commander of Surat Thani provincial police, that on June 27, a British tourist identified as 20-year old Isbel Victoria Bakter lodged a complaint with Koh Pha-ngan police, saying that her cellphone and about 3,000 baht in cash had gone missing on Sai Ree beach on the scenic Koh Tao island on June 25.
He insisted that the complainant didn't say she was robbed but merely said that the two items just went missing.
He said the duty officer then advised Ms Bakter to lodge her complaint with Koh Tao police as her belongings were reported to have gone missing there, but she claimed it was not convenient for her to go there and she merely wanted a police report so she could claim an insurance compensation.
The duty police officer made a copy of her complaint form and gave it to her, said Pol Col Sathit, stressing that the British backpacker did not complain of being raped and robbed as reported in the social media.
Ms Bakter left Thailand via the Suvarnabhumi international airport on the night of July 2.
Koh Tao police deputy superintendent Pol Lt-Col Napa Senathip disclosed that on August 8, a resort owner on Koh Tao island informed his men that he received a message from Ms Bacter that while vacationing on Koh Tao she was raped and robbed of her cellphone and 3,000 baht in cash and demanded him to be held accountable for the incident.
After receiving the information from the resort owner, Koh Tao police then checked video footages at the resort but found that all the footages on that particular day that the alleged crime took place had been automatically deleted, said Napa, adding that the police wanted to question the British backpacker but found she already left Thailand in July.
Pol Maj-Gen Apichart said he had instructed the police to trace the origin of the alleged rape report and found out that it came from a website which was registered abroad but used the name of a famous tourist destination in Surat Thani province.
He alleged that the same website had occasionally posted fake news to discredit Koh Tao since the murder of two British backpackers on the island in 2014.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)