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Thai Policeman Surrenders, Admits Killing Britons


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Thai wanted for Brits' murders surrenders

BANGKOK (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 denied allegations he had killed tourists Adam LLoyd, 25, and Vanessa Arscott, 24, police said.

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 where he would be charged.

--Reuters 2004-10-07

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British top envoy thanks Thai govt for capturing suspected killer of British tourists

KANCHANABURI: -- The British Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Mr. David William Fall, has expressed his appreciation to the Thai government and local forces for their sincere cooperation and attempts to hunt for a Thai police officer who was suspected to have slain two young British tourists in Thailand's western resort province of Kanchanaburi last month.

The British top envoy thanked the Thai government and all authorities and officers concerned for the assistance at a press conference, held this morning at the provincial hall of the province, where the suspected killer was also present.

The accused, Sgt. Somchai Visetsingha, 39, turned himself in to local police near the 'Three Pagoda Pass' along the Thai-Myanmar border this early morning.

He was accompanied by his lawyer when he surrendered himself to the local police and military forces, led by Pol. Maj. Gen. Chalong Sonjai, the Deputy Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7.

Police said that the police sergeant had fled to Myanmar and stayed with ehnic Karens near the border.

The young British couple, Vanessa Arscott, 24, and Adam Lloyd, 25, were shot dead on 9 September.

They were seen arguing with the suspected killer at a riverside restaurant near the renowned River Kwai Bridge, partly owned by the accused, according to local police, quoting witnesses as saying.

Sgt. Somchai reportedly argued and fought with Lloyd, and then approached the couple in a car parked near the restaurant.

He allegedly shot Lloyed dead first, and ran Arscott, who was fleeing for her life, down and shot her dead.

The motive of the murders was still unclear, said the police.

Police investigators later found bloodstrains and bullets in the suspected sergeant's car.

The accused had disappeared since the incident took place.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had instructed local authorities to 'turn the land upside down' to aggressively search for and track the accused down.

The suspected sergeant is being questioned by the local police.

---TNA 2004-10-07

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Thai policeman gave up and confessed this morning

BANGKOK : A Thai policeman suspected of shooting dead two British tourists gave himself up and confessed after nearly a month on the run, police said.

Sergeant Somchai Visetsing, 39, fled into Myanmar after the shootings and surrendered to Thai officials at the border accompanied by his lawyer, they said.

Vanessa Arscott, 24, and her boyfriend Adam Lloyd, 25, were shot and killed on September 9 at Kanchanaburi in western Thailand - close to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai - after a row with the off-duty officer at a restaurant he part-owned.

"The suspect has already confessed and in the afternoon we will conduct a re-enactment of the crime," regional police commander Lieutenant Colonel Chaiyant Maklamthong told Thai television network iTV.

"He told us he had been attacked first by the victim and he couldn't fight back so he used his gun to shoot them," he said.

Police told AFP the suspect surrendered at the Three Pagoda Pass on the Thai-Myanmar border at 6:00 am (2300 GMT Wednesday) and was being held in Kanchanaburi.

Somchai became the key suspect for the killings after he was seen arguing with the Britons in the early hours of the morning in the quiet tourist town.

Somchai fought with Lloyd and allegedly shot him several times after leaving the restaurant where the couple had been drinking, according to police.

After Lloyd was shot, police allege Somchai followed Arscott in his car, ran her down and shot her twice. Police said the motive for the attack was unclear.

Police searched his car and found bloodstains and a bullet similar to those used in the killings.

His wife drove him to a hospital near the scene of the killings hours after the shooting because of injuries to his face but he was not seen for weeks afterwards.

Somchai, looking tired, handcuffed and wearing a green T-shirt, was paraded in front of the media at Kanchanaburi police headquarters, where he rejected press queries that he shot the couple because of a love triangle.

"I don't know anything about a love affair, and I don't know either of the victims," he told iTV before a press conference attended by British diplomats. No confession by the policeman was aired.

Police said that after the shootings, Somchai travelled 200 kilometres by bus from his home to the Myanmar border where he walked across and stayed with friends. "He was in shock," Chaiyant said.

Last month Somchai had contacted his relatives to tell them he wanted to give himself up and they were preparing to offer bail, police said.

The arrest coincided with a scheduled visit to the area by British officials on Thursday to check on the progress of the case, with a four-person team from the British embassy travelling from Bangkok.

"The first thing we heard about it was this morning," said an embassy spokesman.

"We are very pleased at the assistance we have got from the Thai authorities throughout the case and expressions of support we have got from the prime minister down," he said.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had reportedly called on the authorities to "turn the land upside down" in the search for the officer amid fears that the killings would hit the kingdom's tourist industry.

-- AFP 2004-10-07

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.....Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had reportedly called on the authorities to "turn the land upside down" in the search for the officer amid fears that the killings would hit the kingdom's tourist industry.

It will continue to affect tourism until the trial is concluded and justice is seen to be done.

Self Defense? What a crock of sh*te! If that was the case how does the bastard explain running over and shooting the lady?? :o

Precisely. A plea of "self defence" may be acceptable for killing the man (but why use such deadly force), but I cannot see any defense for killing the girl except, maybe, insanity.

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Thai cop confesses to killing Britons

Thu 7 October, 2004 09:53

By Noppawan Bunluesilp

KANCHANABURI, Thailand (Reuters) - A Thai policeman accused of murdering a British couple has surrendered after almost a month on the run, saying he killed Adam Lloyd because he spat in his face.

"He spat in my face, so I lost my temper and shot him," Detective Sergeant Somchai Visetsingha, who gave himself up near the Thai-Myanmar border, told reporters on Thursday.

"I think I fired all five bullets in my pistol's chamber," he said after interrogation at Kanchanaburi police station.

Somchai, accused of killing Vanessa Arscott, 24, with his car as she tried to flee early in the morning, told reporters he did know if he killed her.

"I meant to kill the man, but it accidentally hit her," he said.

"I feel devastated that my good intention has turned out like this," Somchai said, saying he offered Lloyd a ride to his hotel after Arscott got into an argument with her fellow Briton and walked away.

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

Somchai was charged with murder and could face the death penalty.

Lieutenant General Chaiyan Maklamthong, chief of western region police bureau, told Thai ITV television after the interrogation Somchai said he was assaulted first.

"Then he was outmatched, so he shot them," Chaiyan said.

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

ITV said Somchai was staying with Karen rebels along the border before he offered to surrender to police on Monday.

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

Somchai was later taken by police for re-enactments of his crime to the scene on Thursday

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticl...67&section=news

He spat in my face, so I lost my temper and shot him
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Channel 3 news on Thai TV (in English) tonight had a story on Visetsingha's arrest. Only caught the end of it just after 5pm, but I think it was the lead story. Good that they attach some importance to his arrest.

The other story I heard (via the not-too-good translators) was a Thai cabinet re-shuffle. Thaksin will now take personal charge of "security" :o

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It is in the (financial) interest of the Thai Government to see that this case is tried publicly and that justice is seen to be done. Confessions aside, the man is inoccent until proven guilty but the evidence against him seems to be overwhelming.

As to 'spitting in the face of a policeman', it is likely that the Brit man did not know that he was facing a policeman. It was early hours of the morning in the accused restaurant. I would think that he was wearing typical of duty policemans leisure wear, probably a T shirt with 'POLICE' emblazoned upon it!

Early days yet. Let's see how it goes.

:o

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Cmon NamKao! You say that everyone knows that the US owns Thailand?

My wife has spent so much money buying land in Thailand (she is Thai) that I know that she owns Thailand.

P.S. Don't tell KowJai that I'm a Brit he might spit in my face! :o

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It appears that several of the posters are taking the murderer's word for being spat upon - as if it should make a difference. Would they all automatically accpet the word of said murderer who has just shot one man and then driven over his girlfriend prior to shooting her dead as well ... and then split to Burma for a month?

If anyone finds this logic flawed, please state it as so. If others find it rational, please agree.

The murderer-cop drove after the two in order to harm them - not help them.

Please vote Yeah or Nay

I am not familar with Thai people or Thai policemen actually driving out to get people whom have eaten at his restaurant and then argued with, in order to assist them. Westerners do not make a habit of it either. It seems a little out of character to me.

He went drove after them to harm them and may have gotten into an argument on the road or a fight with the man. Eitehr way, the cop went looking to make trouble.

First we heard that the Brit hit the cop, and now we have heard that he spat at him. What will we hear next? Oh, and I almost forgot about the affair. I am sure that many more stories all equally divergent from the truth will appear over the next few weeks.

Yes, some of the tourists from Britain, Germany, the USA, France, Italy, the Middle East, etc., come here with the idea that they are above the law. But, generally with young couples, that is not the case. If this was a skinhead with 4 of his pals, tattooed from head to foot, in a bar in Pattaya, then some of the negative statements made on this board might hold true, but since these two were actually seeing the countryside, not the bars and the girls, and there is as of yet no proof of their being drunk and disorderly or behaving in any way that would justify arrest or any other punishment from the Thai courts, they are victims, not criminals.

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Update:

Thai Policeman Surrenders and Admits Killing Britons

KANCHANABURI: -- A Thai policeman, who fled after two British tourists were shot, surrendered today and confessed to the killings.

Detective Sergeant Somchai Visetsingha, who has been charged with murder and faces the death sentence, said he killed Adam Lloyd, 25, from Torquay, Devon, because “He spat in my face.

“So I lost my temper and shot him. I think I fired all five bullets in my pistol’s chamber,.

And he apologised to Vanessa Arscott’s parents for killing the 24 –year-old from Ashburton, also Devon. He said her death was an accident: “I meant to kill the man, but I accidentally hit her.

“I feel devastated that my good intention has turned out like this,” Somchai said.

He said he had offered Mr Lloyd a lift to his hotel after Vanessa got into an argument with her boyfriend and walked away.

After dragging her body for about 660 feet, he stopped his car and shot her in his panic to escape, he said.

The couple were killed on September 9 after an argument with the policeman at a restaurant near the Bridge over the River Kwai.

A £1,350 reward had been offered for the capture of Somchai who had fled over the nearby Burmese border.

Somchai turned himself in today to a regional police commander in Kanchanaburi province, near the border, said police Colonel Vej Somboon.

Somchai had fled across the border into Burma, where he was sheltered by members of the Karen ethnic minority until the government, in cooperation with Thai authorities, put pressure on the Karen to hand over the suspect.

Karen guerrilla groups, both pro and anti-government, control large parts of the border.

Looking tired in a green military T-shirt and in handcuffs, Somchai was taken to a police station where British diplomat Andy Pearce said: “I would like to extend my appreciation to our Thai counterparts from all levels, including the prime minister, for co-operating in the case.,”

Police immediately took handcuffed Somchai back to the restaurant to re-enact the killings – normal practice in Thailand.

Kanchanaburi province is about 70 miles west of the capital, Bangkok.

The area attracts many foreign tourists 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.

--Scotsman.com

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