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TAT urges police to arrest murderer of UK tourists

KANCHANABURI: -- A senior Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) official yesterday called on the police to expedite the manhunt for the police sergeant thought to have murdered two British tourists in Kanchanaburi last month, warning that failure to make an arrest could serve to damage Thai-British relations.

Mr. Akhom Chanang, Assistant Director of the TAT's Central Region Office, Region 1, acknowledged that the fatal shooting of Vanessa Arscott and Adam Lloyd outside a Kanchanaburi cafe was a private matter, but said that the incident could, nonetheless, prove detrimental to Thailand's international reputation.

The young British couple were murdered on 9 September, apparently by Pol. Sgt. Maj. Somchai Wisetsingh, who has been in hiding since then.

Although police initially vowed to capture the police officer within a week, yesterday they admitted that any leads they had been given were inconclusive.

Pointing out that people both at home and abroad were waiting for an arrest to be made, Mr. Akhom said that it was vital that the true facts of the case were brought to light.

Kanchanaburi Province, made famous throughout the world by the film and book of 'The Bridge Over the River Kwai', is one of Thailand's most important tourism magnets.

On weekdays, 80 percent of visitors to the province are foreigners.

--TNA 2004-10-04

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Update:

British ambassador seeks update on manhunt

BANGKOK: -- The British ambassador will visit Kanchanaburi this week for an update on the manhunt for a police officer wanted for the murder of two British tourists, said a senior officer yesterday.

Police are preparing a report for the ambassador, David Fall, on Thursday, said Maj-General Chalong Sonjai, deputy commissioner of Police Region 7, which includes Kanchanaburi.

“The case has progressed and we are getting officers to work quickly on arresting the suspect, Sgt-Major Somchai Wisetsing,” said Chalong after an hour-long police meeting yesterday.

He said clues suggested Somchai was hiding out along the Thai border, but stressed that police would not discard other clues to ensure a thorough search.

Chalong admitted that Somchai’s proficiency at arresting suspects and familiarity with police procedures made him more difficult to track down.

The 39-year-old former head of a unit at Muang Kanchanaburi police station is the prime suspect in the deaths of British backpackers Adam Geoffrey Lloyd, 25, and his girlfriend Vanessa Claire Arscott, 24, who were gunned down in the province on September 9. Witnesses reportedly saw the victims arguing with Somchai at a riverside restaurant early in the morning of the day of the killing. He later approached the two in a car and fired at the man, ran down the woman when she tried to run away, and then shot her at close range, police have quoted the witnesses as saying.

--The Nation 2004-10-04

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Chalong admitted that Somchai’s proficiency at arresting suspects and familiarity with police procedures made him more difficult to track down.

amateurs !!

send in inspector clousseau and a model-t full of keystone cops , they would stand more chance of catching him than inspector "knacker of the yard" chalong.

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:D

Sad really… as one said before.. :D

Read another Fred that George so kindly stopped (Thank you George) about the arrest of Pol. Sgt. Maj. Somchai Wisetsingh, WHICH was NOT true. :o

They did however arrest a look-a like (Car Salesman) on that said day and in that report. Then promptly released him. These words which I post where translated to me by local people in Kan who saw the news on Thai T.V.. last week. :D

They got the wrong person… :D

So what was printed in a U.K. newspaper may have been true at that time, as per Thai T.V. and a Thai newspaper as posted before on that closed Fred, but alas, it was not Pol. Sgt. Maj. Somchai Wisetsingh.

George, feel free to edit this post.

Sad Days in Kan.. :wub:

Yours as always

Kan Win -_-

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Chalong admitted that Somchai’s proficiency at arresting suspects and familiarity with police procedures made him more difficult to track down.

amateurs !!

send in inspector clousseau and a model-t full of keystone cops , they would stand more chance of catching him than inspector "knacker of the yard" chalong.

Is this the same police force that you have so much faith in and trust so confidently enough to give them a free hand to indiscriminately use deadly force during the so-called drug crackdown???????

perhaps just a wee bit inconsistent??

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Oh not this old chestnut!...give the policeman a break!...2 less trailer trash whiteys to have to worry about....LOS don't need their sort anyway...have some ###### respect for the country or sod off!

Id love to give you a 'break' :o

Numpty :D

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Thailand Suffering over Failure to Capture Killer

BANGKOK: -- Thailand’s international image is suffering over its inability to capture a policeman suspected of murdering two British tourists last month, a senior tourism official said today

Vanessa Arscott, 24, of Ashburton, Devon, and Adam Lloyd, 25, from Torquay, also Devon, were killed on September 9 in Kanchanaburi province, 70 miles west of Bangkok.

A £1,400 reward has been offered for help in capturing Sgt. Somchai Visetsingha, their suspected killer.

The failure to capture Somchai could damage relations with Britain, warned Akhom Chanang, assistant director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s central region.

British diplomats have been pressing for a resolution of the case, and are expected to meet Kanchanaburi police officials this week to discuss the progress of the investigation and manhunt.

Witnesses quoted by police say they saw the victims arguing with Somchai at a riverside restaurant. He later allegedly approached the couple in a car, shot the man, and then ran down the woman as she tried to flee before shooting her at close range.

Both victims died from multiple gunshot wounds.

An arrest warrant was issued for Somchai after his private car was found with bloodstains and pieces of human flesh stuck to its exterior.

Kanchanaburi is a popular tourist destination due to its natural splendours and because it is the site of the infamous bridge over the River Kwai, where Japanese troops built a railway using prisoners of war during the Second World War, of particular interest to foreign visitors.

On weekdays, 80% of the visitors to the province are foreigners, according to Akhom’s office.

The region has rough terrain with heavy jungle and borders Burma, making it a favourable area for a fugitive.

--Scotsman.com 2004-10-04

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KANCHANABURI, Thailand (Reuters) - A Thai policeman accused of murdering a British couple has surrendered to police after almost a month on the run.

Detective Sergeant Somchai Visetsingha gave himself up near the Thai-Myanmar border on Thursday, but declined to comment on allegations he had killed British tourists Adam LLoyd, 25, and Vanessa Arscott, 24.

"I can only say that I was hurt," Somchai, who was charged with murder, told reporters when asked if he had killed the tourists.

Somchai is accused of shooting Lloyd after a heated argument in a restaurant that the policeman owned in Kanchanaburi, near the Bridge over the River Kwai, a popular tourist spot 125 km (80 miles) west of Bangkok, on September 9.

He is accused of killing Arscott with his car as she tried to flee in the early hours of the morning.

Police said Somchai was flown from his border hideout in a military helicopter to Kanchanaburi police headquarters where he would be interrogated.

Thai ITV television reported on Thursday that Somchai was staying with Karen rebels along the border before he offered to surrender to police on Monday.

Looking tried in a green military T-shirt and in handcuffs, Somchai was brought into a police station where British Ambassador Andy Pearce expressed his satisfaction and commended Thai police for arresting one of their own.

A police officer told Reuters they would take Somchai for a reenactment of the crime at the scene later on Thursday.

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