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Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thailand to consider electronic tags for tourists following double murder

Thailand's tourism chief has suggested several measures to improve safety for visitors following the brutal murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller two weeks ago.

Tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said these could include issuing tourists with wristbands with the contact details of the resort they are staying in and possibly fitting them with 'some sort of tracking device', and introducing a 'buddy system' with local minders at holiday resorts assigned to look after tourists.

She said these measures were being discussed, along with plans to introduce a curfew to end beach parties earlier. The bodies of 23-year-old Hannah Witheridge and 24-year-old David Miller were found on a beach on the southern island of Koh Tao after they had been to a late-night party.

Their killer or killers have not been found.

Kobkarn said tourists could be issued with wristbands when they check in to their hotels, and these could contain their ID and the contact details for the hotel, so they could be easily assisted if they got lost.

She said these might even include some sort of electronic tracking device at a later stage, but she admitted hotels had expressed concerns that some holidaymakers might not want to wear them.

Meanwhile, a taxi driver has claimed to have been beaten by police investigating the murders after he allegedly refused to accept a bribe of 700,000 baht (around £13,000) to give false evidence against a football team.

Pornprasit Sukdam, a member of the Sun Service Football Team which threw a party at a club where the victims were seen on the night of their deaths, told Thai journalists he has since asked the district chief for protection.

A police spokesman said they were waiting for the results of DNA samples taken from more than eight of the amateur footballers.


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