Thai police are investigating the death of a 57-year-old Swiss tourist whose body was found on Phuket Island. Authorities in Bangkok also announced tightening security measures. According to the Thai Foreign Ministry, the woman was murdered.
Thai officials said the body of a 57-year-old woman had been found lying there “at least three days” on rocks near a waterfall on Phuket Island on Thursday.
Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat then told reporters that Don Pramudwinai, the head of the foreign ministry, had contacted the Swiss ambassador to Bangkok to convey condolences on the “murder of a Swiss woman” in Phuket. Thai authorities expressed their condolences to the family of the deceased, identified as Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf.
On Saturday, police confirmed that they had detained a man suspected of killing a Swiss tourist. – We have good news in Phuket. It’s over, the commander-in-chief of the Thai police, General Suwat Jangyodsuk, told reporters. He did not provide more details about the detainee.
The Reuters agency, citing two police sources, said the suspect was a 27-year-old from Phuket.
Before identifying the suspect, Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered the relevant services to speed up the investigation. He also ordered “stricter safety and health measures” for tourists on Phuket Island.
She’s staying at a hotel
Reuters agency said on Friday that the Swiss woman arrived in Thailand on July 13 as part of a program that allows Western tourists vaccinated against the coronavirus to visit the country without going into quarantine.
The woman was staying at a hotel in Phuket, which was about two kilometers from the waterfall, where she was later found. Kitirath Phanpetch from the local police said there were bruises on her body. “Black cloth covered the body, suggesting someone had placed it there and the cause of death was unnatural,” he explained.
Police examined people with criminal records, as well as migrants working on the island for possible involvement in the crime.
Since July, when tourists were allowed to come to the island despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been visited by around 15,000 tourists, mainly from the United States, Great Britain, Israel, Germany and France. This number is very small compared to the arrivals of visitors before the pandemic.
Main photo source: Reuters