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Arrest warrant issued for man suspected of raping Australian

Dec 14. 2016
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By SURIYA PATATHAYO,
JESSADA CHANTHARAK,
JAROONROJ THEWPAI-NGAM
THE NATION

POLICE have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in the alleged rape of an Australian woman tourist in a parking lot in Bangkok’s Taling Chan district last week.

The suspect is believed to have been released from jail two months ago after serving a sentence for a similar crime, police deputy spokesman Pol Colonel Krisana Pattanacharoen said yesterday. 

The warrant was issued by Taling Chan Court after the suspect was shown in CCTV footage. Rape is punishable by between four and 20 years in jail, and a fine of between Bt4,000 and Bt40,000, Krisana said. 

Krisana said national police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda was very concerned about the case which had caused damage not just to the victim but to the country’s reputation.

A source said the warrant was issued for motorcycle taxi driver Ekburut Ritrakkhapan, 32, who disappeared three days ago. The source said police were looking to clarify why the victim was seen riding pillion on the suspect’s motorcycle in the CCTV footage.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lt-General Sanit Mahathavorn yesterday urged the suspect to surrender to police to tell his side of the story. Sanit said the case was being treated as rape following tests on samples taken from the woman during a physical examination.

The 23-year-old woman, who was due to return to Australia next week, initially told police she flagged a tuk-tuk for a ride back to her lodgings after drinking heavily but was taken to the secluded spot in front of a deserted building and attacked by the driver and his friend. 

But Sanit later said the tourist was mistaken, as CCTV footage showed a suspect riding a motorcycle. 

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