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Tourists assaulted in hotel rooms on Koh Samui, man arrested

A man accused of assaulting two foreign tourists in hotel rooms on KohSamui in Thailand and stealing cash and valuables has been arrested in Nonthaburi province.

Somchai Duanglai was taken into custody at an apartment room in Muang district of Nonthaburi in the early hours of Thursday by police from Bophut police station in Surat Thani, Region 8 headquarters and the Crime Suppression Division.

Somchai, 38, was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Koh Samui Provincial Court for alleged collusion in thefts causing physical or mental harm to the victims.

He fled the island to Bangkok, where he was tracked down to his girlfriend’s apartment room in Nonthaburi.

His arrest followed two reported break-and-enters and assaults in hotel rooms on Koh Samui.

A German tourist filed a complaint with Bophut police that two men broke a window to get into his hotel room and then stabbed him with a piece of the broken glass on Oct 28.

The thieves made off with his valuables, which they put in a bag, Thai media reported.

On Oct 29, Bophut police station received a complaint by a Hong Kong national that a man had broken a window to enter his hotel room and then attacked him with a piece of the broken glass before fleeing with £400 in banknotes, 16,000 baht, and two credit cards.

Police investigators concluded that Mr. Somchai was involved in each case.

Thai media reported that Mr. Somchai had resisted arrest. He had refused to open the door, destroyed goods inside the Nonthaburi apartment room and connected electrical wires to the doorknob in a bid to electrocute the arresting officers.

The officers cut off power and water to the building. Mr. Somchai then allegedly tried to start a fire before officers entered the room and arrested him.

During interrogation, Mr. Somchai admitted to the thefts, saying he wanted money for personal use and to buy crystal methamphetamine, according to police.

The suspect has criminal record police said, with previous convictions for raping a tourist on Koh Samui, theft and drug use.

He had spent about 10 years in prison before being released early this year.

Somchai Duanglai is arrested at a room in Nonthaburi. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

 

Police pose with suspect Somchai Duanglai, seated, at a police station after arresting him at his girlfriend’s room in Nonthaburi. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)