Phuket Newspaper Reports Indicate Murders Covered Up By Police, With The Participation Of The Media
Murders Covered Up
It has long been suspected that an alarming number of murders on the island of Phuket are being covered up by police, and the local media seems to assist the police in keeping this quiet. I have published several articles covering this topic, including a recent article that was featured on ThaiVisa, titled: "Trouble In Paradise? Suicide And Accidental Death Reach Epidemic Proportion On The Island Of Phuket!. Since this article was published I have been engaged in a heated debate with Alan Morrison, the editor of PhuketWan.com. Mr Morrison has branded me and all those like me as conspiracy theorists, insisting that "There is no cause for alarm, and nothing unusual about the number of deaths, or the frequency."
I have also been criticized by some, for not backing up my accusations with enough concrete facts, however I have never gone further than to label these incidents as "suspicious". Never suggesting that I know anymore than what I read in the paper, just that I find the stories printed in the papers to be so far fetched than only a moron could accept them as fact. In this article we will look at 2 suspected murder cover-ups that are well documented in both PhuketWan and The Phuket Gazette. We will try to avoid speculation, and simply look at the facts of both these cases, as both cases show a clear pattern of misinformation being given by the police as well as the media.
Case #1 : Expat Body Found Hanged At Freedom Beach
The original report in PhuketWan was almost comical, suggesting that the victim "may have slipped and fallen when trying to rig a nylon cord to a tree." The PhuketWan report went on to also suggest that it was a possible suicide, even though the body was found in the seated position, with both feet firmly on the ground? The same incident was reported very similarly in The Phuket Gazette, without the silly speculation of a bizarre accident. The original report said "Unable to find any traces of a struggle or wounds to the body, police believe the man committed suicide."
The story takes a bizarre twist when a report surfaces of a missing English teacher from South Africa, who had not been seen for several weeks, and hadn't withdrawn money from his bank account in that period of time. With an unidentified body, and a missing persons report, it would seem reasonable that this would be cause for the police to investigate, however the case ended up being solved by an employee of the Phuketgazette, who noticed the similarities between the photo of the missing tourist, and the victim at Freedom Beach.
The updated story has now been published in the Phuket Gazette, identifying the body that was discovered at Freedom Beach as missing South African tourist Mark Robson. The update takes a new twist however, uncovering information that was left out of the original report. The Phuket Gazette wrote "The Gazette notes that photos taken from the scene suggest the possibility of foul play, especially bruises on Mr Robson’s back and the fact that he was found “hanged” in a sitting position"
This has many people questioning why that information was left out of the original report? Now that the victim has a name, there will be family members asking questions and demanding answers. The latest comments made by the Phuket Gazette directly conflict with the official police report, as well as their original article on the story. The police, as well as the editor of PhuketWan have declined to comment on the issue.
Update, Feb 21 : The death of South African tourist Mark Robson last month in Phuket, has officially been confirmed as a suicide. Police claim to have uncovered sms messages on his telephone that indicate troubles in his love life. Phuketwan.com is covering the story, however so far Phuketgazette has failed to comment on their latest coverage classifying the case as a murder investigation.
Case #2 : Swede Stabbed To Death In Patong
This incident was originally reported as a murder case by PhuketWan, in the initial report, they printed several quotes from police officers at the scene. We will list the comments that PhuketWan reported were taken from police officers :
"Officers found money in the pocket of the man's shorts, on the floor. Police believe that more than one person may have been involved in a party that went wrong."
"A SWEDISH man has been savagely knifed to death in the western beach resort town of Patong, Phuket police said tonight. Police are hunting his killer or killers."
"Police said there were many footprints in the room and in the corridoor outside."
"Officers said the staff at the condominium block found the man lying on his side on a bed, with two deep stab wounds to the left side of his back"
The same incident was reported as being a bizarre accidental death by The Phuket Gazette. They reported that police believed the victim had dropped a bottle of spirits on the floor, causing it to break, then he slipped and fell, landing on the broken glass, causing wounds to his back, and eventually having him bleed to death. This caused a firestorm of controversy on the island, with such a clear discrepancy in both reports. The editor of PhuketWan stood by his original report for six days, before eventually giving into to the pressure and printing an apology, stating that it was an error in judgement.
The story given by Mr. Morrison in his apology, stated that his reporters had jumped to conclusions after viewing photographs of the scene, saying "based on the initial impression of police and graphic photographs of what appeared to be stab wounds, concluded that a murder had taken place." I have repeatedly asked Mr Morrison to comment on the apparent quotes from police officers at the scene, and he has flatly refused to answer. The fact is, if the police at the scene made the statements he claims they did, then there would be no reason for PhuketWan to apologize for anything.
Now after reading this, I hope that you feel that the content of the article justifies the title. I have provided 2 examples of suspicious deaths, that appear to be possible murders, in both cases conflicting information is given by the media, and the police have pretty much buried their head in the sand and ignored any of it, refusing to comment, investigate or be accountable for anything. The fact that an unidentified body and a missing persons report was pieced together by a reporter, as apposed to by those people who are paid to solve crimes, shows you just how much interest the police have in solving these cases. The reason I write about these issues is not to cause panic, not to discourage anyone from traveling to Phuket, it is simply to let people know of the possible dangers in hopes that they will take the appropriate action to avoid any unnecessary conflict, knowing just how wrong things can go on the Island.
I feel that the families of the victims often wonder why they weren't aware of incidents like this prior to being affected by them. Many people seem to have the attitude that, since "it hasn't yet happened to me, it isn't really a problem." The idea that you are just going to sit around and wait for a problem to affect you, before you acknowledge that it exists, is nothing short of ignorant. The more people that ask questions and demand answers, the safer it will be in Phuket and around the rest of Thailand.
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