Thai Police is on the warpath after three British nationals were beaten and left unconscious in the popular tourist hub of Hua Hin on the 13th of April, during celebrations for Thai New Year’s Eve. Four Thai men have already been arrested and charged with the assault, wich was captured by CCTV cameras in the area, but the authorities suspect a larger numner of perpetrators and are still hunting for them. Three of the offenders were detained by the police on the 15th of April, with the fourth being arrested yesterday.
According to witnesses, the elderly couple, along with their son, were on holiday and on that fateful night they were taking a walk when one of them bumped into a Thai youngster on Soi Bintabaht, a known Hua Hin bar hub. The subsequent scuffle was fully recorded by surveillance cameras in the area and the videos show some youngsters beating the British tourists to the ground.
Even before the CCTV video surfaced online, Thai police made some arrests. Suphatra Baithong and Yingyai Saengkham-in, both aged 32, and Siwa Noksri, 20, were captured two days after the assault while Chaiya Jaiboon, 20, was arrested on Thursday. They are expected to appear in court next week for an initial hearing. The defendants claimed they were drunk when they attacked the family, who were left on the road unconscious. The attack happened outside Tina Bar, along a bustling street and close to the Tourist Police Station.
“The Tourism Authority of Thailand would like to express our deepest sorrow to the family who were subjected to the assault in Hua Hin during the Songkran celebrations,” the officials said in a statement.
Although Thai officials have already arrested four young men and are following leads to bring others to justice, the case seems to be more complex than just a scuffle in the street. Other expats in Hua Hin wrote on a local forum that the incident had been provoked actually by the Britons, and they had brought CCTV images as proof for their point of view. In other words, the footage of events leading up to the incident shows the English woman striking a Thai man in the face.
A popular destination for Europeans, Thailand has seen a number of violent crimes against foreign tourists in the past years, including the murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao in September 2014 and the rape of two French women at knifepoint on Koh Samui, a year before.