On the day British police finally made it to the Thai island of Koh Tao the scene of the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, Britain’s Foreign Office has stated that it is concerned not only about the alleged mistreatment of the two Burmese men now held in Koh Samui jail but also concerned about allegations of corruption.

This is the first time the British authorities have referred to corruption in the Thai Police investigation and the term was used in answers to ten questions submitted by the local newspaper the East Anglian Daily Times.

On being asked how confident it was that those responsible for the killings would be brought to justice the FCO replied:

“We want to see the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice and we have asked the Thai authorities to keep our Embassy in Bangkok closely informed on their investigation. 

The British government cannot interfere in Thailand’s judicial proceedings, just as other governments are unable to interfere in our own judicial processes. 

That said, we are very concerned by the allegations of corruption and mistreatment of the suspects and it is very important that whoever committed these murders is brought to justice. 

We call for the investigation to be conducted in a fair and transparent way, in line with international standards.”

It is not clear what allegations of corruption the FCO are referring to. There have been public allegations that they offered to pay a taxi driver to give false testimony, but other allegations relating to the police relationship to a local island family, which in the view of many has access to the truth, have only been mentioned in social media.

The FCO stated: “A detective chief inspector from the Metropolitan Police Service Homicide and Major Crime Command and a forensic operations co-ordinator from Forensic Services have been deployed and are in Thailand.”

The Bangkok Post reported today that other officers had already been on the island since Friday.

COMMENT: If Thailand needs to get ‘in line’ with international standards it should of course remove the shackles of the two Burmese, Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin.


  1. I rather believe this may be a veiled reference to the fact the three killers who perpetrated the murders are free because of the close links between the families who run Koh Tao and certain police officers who have benefited from their largesse.
    I know we should be circumspect but really, it is a bloody big elephant and the room is quite tiny.

  2. It will be interesting to hear what the Thai authorities come out with over the next few days. It will also be interesting to see how tourism is affected by the all to clear to see; there are dangerous people living on Koh Tao.

    I have spent some great times in Thailand, I love the people, I love the food. But as you have highlighted in a previous post, dodgy, and even nasty horrific things have happened to people over the years. For the travellers who have an amazing time, someone somewhere, will be getting robbed, beaten up, raped or fitted up or as we have so clearly witnessed, getting murdered callously.

    Thailand needs strong leadership and transparency to make sure the tourists feel safe and, this never happens again.

  3. Just because" Social Media" is the only source of the allegations- so far- does not mean they are not true, especially in a country where libel laws are all about protecting wealthy wrong-doers.

    Not sure if you would agree, but this case's exposure on social media has enormous ramifications and just may do more to update the collective Thai social conscience than any coup maker possibly could. It truly is a phenomenon that is being overlooked completely by the mainstream press.

    1. I don't mean the specific allegations aren't being covered, of course not- but the massing of social interaction to see justice done. It is exactly what this country needs. CSI LA is reporting today efforts to shut the page down, and has posted a three finger salute, which is exactly what will instigate a Facebook site banning by the junta, which of course will be the exact catalyst needed for a major social uprising against censorship.
      One person… as always, brings it to the tipping point.

    2. I strongly agree. This case reminds of the 'Arab Spring' when social media played a huge and unexpected role in the course of events across Arab countries in 2010/11. It seems the full ramifications of the effects of civil resistance to the way the Thai authorities have handled this case are yet to be seen.

  4. I don't always agree with you, but on this I think you are spot on. The exposure on social media, not just on AD, is what has driven a different attitude towards transparency and some reform. But face is a big issue. Thais just can't lose face. They've invited police in as observers and there may be further concessions but more likely, in my opinion, they'll try to find a compromising way around their difficulty. Maybe putting a Thai in the frame publicly and then quietly releasing, the Burmese being deported. Any decision taking account of the effects on tourism and image and on the poo mee ithipon.

  5. I used to spend my holiday in Thailand but after this horrible murder and how things are going I will never go again and hope no one tourist will go. They dont care that 2 innocents people lost their lives in horrible way, they just care to recover the tourism, it is all about money. Even when you go there you get the feeling. It is unbelievable that people can just kill, rape etc and get away easily with it. I had some bad experience too, where I got really scared, someone followed me and my husband from the bar on the beach to the resort (300mt) in Koh Panghan and another time we almost got stubbed because a crazy taxy driver. Everybody has gun or knife and there is no law or justice or police that can help. Well if a country can't protect their tourists from crime then I guess there are some other beautiful place to visit.

  6. It seems that the only people in the whole world who don't know the identity of the perpetrators of this horrific and brutal double murder are the RTP!According to social media the number one suspect is just about to head for Australia to escape justice,the way this whole case has been handled is just shocking beyond belief!

  7. Unfortunately another case buried in history. Tourists will keep coming specially Chinese and Russians who do not care about these kind of incidents or cases as they are both living in terrible conditions in their own countries.

    Chinese who are coming from a polluted country which lacks quality food. They are simply interested in food. They eat and empty the supermarkets to bring back home. Russians are on the run from cold, seeking cheap booze not aware that they are given fake Chinese counterfeit booze in nice packages and bottles!

    Only these 2 countries are pouring down enough money compare to rest of the world and unfortunately their number is just growing.

    When asked a Chinese how do you feel about this? The answer is straight: Nothing!
    When asked a Russian how do you feel about this? Same answer there as well. Nothing!

    Thailand's tourism is changed already. They want "Q" tourist. What is that?
    – Those who happily pay the extortions and rip-offs without protesting, no regrets!

    1. Execuse me! Who is this guy? Yes you Mr. Or Mrs. Neramit. Keep such drive and racist remarks to yourself and come up with something constructive. I am neither Russian nor Chinese and I would like to see fewer remarks such as the ones you dare to post here. PLEASE KEEP IT CLEAN!!!

    2. I am sorry if my comments offend anyone and it wasn't my intention. I just missed to refer the comment to tourism. I am sure neither Russians or Chinese are okay with the tragedy on koh tao and like other nations condemning the killing and wish the real culprits be brought to justice.

      I missed to refer the comment to tourism flow.

  8. Tthis terrible story get worse every day. Jai yen yen people. Take it easy.
    I have been on the sharp end of Thai corruption and untruths. I have witnessed first hand the bad side of the Thai police. BUT… Thailand remains a very special place to visit. There are so many good sides to this jewel and its people. Humans are corrupt. Humans lie. Humans do terrible things sometimes.
    Someone said to me… " Thailand only wants our money. They rip us off at every corner." Look around you. It goes on all over this world and has done for a very long time.

  9. 'The Embassy' is currently screening every Sunday at 6.30pm in Australia. There have been a few episodes already and there has been one horror story after another. Screened just before high season it won't be helping the tourist numbers at all. It's one hour of seeing farangs cheated and hospitalised in Thailand and the embassy staff trying hard to fix the problems. Some of the the poor bastards you see on the program shouldn't be let out of their neighbourhood let alone on a plane to Thailand.

    1. What do you mean 'The Embassy' is currently screening every Sunday at 6.30pm in Australia? Sorry if I missed what you're trying to say?

  10. I get you thanks. I can imagine what some of the people are like on that program. Places like Pattya and Koh Samui are attracting some of the worst of the UK's gangster underclass chavs.

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