Thai Police today said that a 21-year old Burmese bar worker has confessed to the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the holiday island of Koh Tao.

Burmese suspects share a at about 10.30 pm motorbike behind Sairee Beach, Koh Tao.
Win is No 1 sandwiched between his friends – Picture Royal Thai Police

And they said they were holding two other Burmese who they believed to be accomplices. One has denied anything to do with the murders, but reports later said a a second man had now also confessed.

Police sources the statement was consistent with evidence they had already gathered. They moved in as Win had tried to leave Koh Tao last night by the 9 pm ferry after they issued a statement saying they were hot on the trail, the Matichon newspaper reported. He was picked up on arrival at the pier in Surat Thani and taken back.  Win is believed to have worked at the ‘Safety Stop’ restaurant and bar in Koh Tao, and the other two at the AC bat.

Police said they had evidence of an LM Red cigarettes, a packet of which had been purchased at a convenience store earlier in the evening – on which, it is believed, had been found DNA similar to that of the killers.  And one of the suspects had died his hair black again, having previously been dyed blond.

The short statement issued by Deputy Police Commissioner General  Jakthip Chaijinda this evening identified the alleged killer by the Burmese name ‘Win’, from Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar) who worked on Koh Tao but had been arrested on the mainland in the provincial capital Surat Thani.

But his alleged accomplices, two Burmese referred to as Maw, 23, and Saw, 21, worked in Kao Tao and were friends of Win, police said.

Suspect Win – Khao Sod

Police made the announcement before they could confirm a match for the DNA of the two people who raped Hannah, aged 23, from Great Yarmouth.

But a large team of police left Bangkok for Koh Tao today with Police Commissioner General Somyot Phumphanmuang for a full announcement tomorrow.

And they produced video and CCTV pictures showing the three suspects on a motorcycle at about 10.30 in the evening, a suspect buying cigarettes at a 7/11 and what is claimed to be one of the suspects caught running shortly before dawn.  But none of the suspects appears to have blond hair on September 15th.

Allegedly one of the suspects shortly before down
Suspect Win wearing the same T-shirt early on Sept 15 – Unless police did a re-enactment today.

The Nation newspaper quoted sources as saying that Win told the police he ‘saw the foreigners having sex so he made the attack with a plan to rape the woman’.

Saw admitted being on the beach where he played the guitar and smoked a cigarette but he went home and knew nothing about any killing, he said.

The reports are being treated with caution. Police appear to have been anxious to suspect foreigners and Burmese first in two weeks of an investigation notable for hasty and inaccurate statements, and allegations of the beating of suspects including Burmese.

On the biggest foreign forum in Thailand there was widespread belief that the Burmese were being set up.  And even in the Thai newspaper Khao Sod (Fresh News) many posters posted using the word ‘goat’ as in scape goat.

The Burmese who are treated as second class citizens in Thailand have had no access to a lawyer – and people are asking why they did not flee back to Burma, only a few hours away by boat and bus.

But police say they are confident of making the statement about the confession.  They say the Burmese workers have been identified among the people caught on CCTV cameras on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, at the time of the murders.

There was no DNA evidence on Hannah suggesting she had sex with David Miller, 24, from Jersey. But police said they did find a condom nearby.

The early evening announcement came on a day when British Ambassador Mark Kent called on police to offer British police and forensic expertise to the Royal Thai Police.

Mark Kent with Thai Police today


  1. Still sceptical,but then I have good reason to be.
    I wouldn't be satisfied unless the DNA was taken under controlled conditions with a member of the FCO oe embassy present.
    If they found a condom at the crime scene why hasn't it been tested for DNA,that would either confirm or not the allegation that Hannah and David were intimate.
    I feel sorry for the parents and David's girlfriend having to listen to what could well be another load of 'make believe'.

    1. The condom was reported to have Witheridge's DNA on the outside, presumably in way of vaginal secretions, as if a consensual sex act had just begun between the victims , and then been interrupted with an attack.

      There is an online petition circulating

      And questions about how a phone belonging to Witheridge that was handed over to police on Sept 15th to aid in the investigation, was then found near the accused's home and used as evidence.

  2. I hope this case may end clean, exact, and with justice served, and for the sake of these two young people who had their life heinously ended, and Hannah's and David's surviving family members. Rest in peace Hannah and David.

  3. AD said: "And even in the Thai newspaper Khao Sod (Fresh News) many posters posted using the word 'goat' as in scape goat."

    Ya think?

    Thai police have no ability or desire to investigate serious crimes. There is no money in it for them.

    All credibility was lost when:
    1. DNA tests came back with remarkable speed. History-making speed.
    2. The Thai police refused American FBI assistance.

    This was NEVER going to be pinned on Thais. Regardless of any REAL evidence gathered.

    What about the Thai suspects who refused to give DNA samples? That screams guilt.

    But now — atleast for the next 24 hours — it's over. Soon to be swept under the rug. This is Thailand.

    1. I'm not defending the police but mistruths like your # 2 can be used to support their claims of false accusations
      The FBI was not refused its assistance.
      The Thai police needed help with specific racial testing, as the Surat Thani forensic center is jammed with case evidence from the south, so they were considering asking the FBI , but found instead Singapore could assist.

  4. Why would anyone interview a suspect at length, obtain such a chain of evidence and then announce that the case is solved in advance of confirmation that the most conclusive, incontrovertible and positive piece of evidence contained in the DNA had been tested?

    It stinks.

    And that picture of Kent with the police is just so repellent I rather think I will be sick. You should have published a cautionary notice first Andrew.

  5. I believe this time they have the real suspect… there are too many people in many countries following very closely the case. At some point they must show the evidence, they simply could not try to frame anyone where there is a death sentence possibility, the trial will be widely publicized , every detail will be scrutinized and a Court of Justice will examine the evidence so there is no doubt when it gets accepted.
    It would just be too shameful for the entire Justice system, the National Police and the Government Chief to lose face in such way. Definitely out of question. If it is all true and the suspect already confessed there is no big hurry on the DNA test. Other suspects are still at large, their identities public there is nowhere to hide. The Burmese Justice system would not hesitate to return any suspect on this case back to Thailand to face justice…

  6. I assume readers will appreciate that Ivan is being sarcastic. Sadly Martin and Billy are likely to be right. Or Maybe Prayuth has read the "riot act: to the local plod.

  7. Ivan, your trusting belief does you credit but in truth you appear to know little of what the Thai are capable. What is it about foreigners who are content to rely upon evidence obtained in circumstances which if they prevailed in their own countries would see any prosecution thrown out at the first challenge.
    The succession of events in this investigation is worrisome to say the least and I personally fear that these horrendous murders will have had five victims and not two.
    A sampling of the Thai social media would suggest my scepticism is shared by hundreds of others, if not thousands.
    Remember Thaksin's vaunting cry in 2002 " the Thai police can do anything "….and they often do.

  8. Only a few years ago a female tourist. Was bludgeoned to death and raped on a beach close to Koh tao on Koh samui…. Again 2 Burmese fitted up for it!!!! I believe it's the same murderer/s…. What a joke rtp are

    1. Do you have any more info on this ? I haven't heard about it and it would be very interesting to know more.
      Men who do this crime don't stop, so it'll happen again and again.

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