|Businessman and local police – by Sean
McAnna who thought they were mafia
The son of a Thai person of influence on the Thai holiday island of Koh Tao has denied he was on the run from Thai police today as Thailand’s military ruler deployed his own team to shake up a murder investigated rife with controversy.
The 22-year-old man told the ‘Kom Chat Leuk’ newspaper that he was in Bangkok to study at university and he had many witnesses and also CCTV to prove where he was at the time Britons Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, were hacked to death on the small island in the Gulf of Thailand.
“I am not afraid,” the 22-year-old said: ‘I have done nothing wrong.”
His statement came after more claims made by police were reported in the Thai and foreign press promising police would solve the case within 48 hours and announcing they were looking for the son of a village head man who had gone to Bangkok.
Meanwhile Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-Ocha says he has ordered a crackdown on ‘influential rackets’ and ‘illegitimate businesses’ on Koh Tao. His men were there already and he was sending down a team of his own, he said.
‘Assigning soldiers might seem a bit draconian,” he told the Nation newspaper in Bangkok, ‘But this is the right time now.”
Commenting on reports that Koh Tao was ruled by mafia families with intimidatory tactics and violence, Bangkok’s Deputy Police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang however said there were ‘definitely no such influential groups.”
This however flies in the face of island tradition. A New Zealand long stay resident on Koh Tao, who has now left, has gone on the net to give a potted history of the island’s violent incidents.
However ‘Mike E’ said the island was comparatively safe because the island’s strongmen, not police made it that way. The police’s main occupation was to collect money from drugs and motor-bike rental scams. They rarely arrested people as it was better and easier to get the cash from tourists.
The island strongmen did however feud among each other and in 2002 Virat Asavachin, 42, chairman of Koh Tao’s Administrative Association, was shot six times near Sairee Beach by a lone gunman in a woolen balaclava. Nobody was convicted of his murder.
And the Thai owner of the Ban Diving Resort was taken out by the mafia, or at least what the western owner Terry said was the mafia, On an English language forum he wrote:
“I was the original partner and split from him (Dan his Thai partner) to start up ” master divers ” with my canadian partner.
Ban had nothing and we put up the start up capital and his gig was being the Thai partner.
He got very successful and became an extremely wealthy man but unfortunatly the power went to his head.
He pissed of the wrong punters and the thai mafia did the rest.
His wife and her sister are now proud owners of a multi million dollar operation and he’s still in the freezer waiting to be cremated.
They wont burn him until they catch the shooter and its been 6 years now”.
Referring to Sean McAnna, from Shotts, Lanarkshire, who fled the AC bar on Sairee Beach fearing he would be lynched Mike E says: “I think had Sean not made his outburst that he probably would have ended up either dead, or blamed for the whole situation. I have absolutely zero faith in the Thai justice system or any island police officers ability to do their job.”
The Bangkok Post is today reporting that police were at Lotus Bar where ‘Mr. McAnna was allegedly seen asking some staff to help wipe bloodstains off his body before he fled the island’. There may be nothing significant in this.
Police have already interviewed the foreigners, and Burmese immigrants and failed to find the culprits. As has become quite clear they have left all the Thai businessmen, bar and resort owners, to the end.