Monday, August 27, 2012

Thailand: Finnish Tourist Assaulted, Raped and Robbed on Koh Lipe Island

According to a news report carried by http://www.scandasia.com, a Finnish tourist, 34, was reportedly punched several times in the stomach, raped and robbed by a stranger on Koh Lipe Island as she returned to her bungalow late at night.

The victim had been on the island for a couple of weeks with friends to obtain certification as a scuba diver. After a few drinks with her friends she apparently was returning to her room when she encountered her assailant who punched her and dragged her to a secluded area where he raped and robbed her of her mobile phone and 1,000 baht (US$32).

After her attack, the woman reported what had happened to her, at which point she was taken to the local hospital by marine police for forensic examination.

COMMENT: Although local police are examining hotel surveillance video and are hopeful of arresting the victim's assailant, it is relatively easy to escape from the island.

Koh Lipe is a tiny island in the Andaman Sea, located 70 kilometers off the southwestern coast of Thailand near the Malaysian border. Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park and is directly south of the larger islands Ko Adang and Ko Rawi and about 50 kilometers from the island of Tarutao.

Although many travelers and tourists to Thailand purposely seek out austere and out-of-the-way destinations, such choices can often have very bad results, particularly when a tourist is a victim of a violent crime.

As suggested in other postings, I also strongly urge all foreign travelers to subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before leaving home. 

Such coverage can often run US$6-8 a day, which can be priceless when faced with a medical emergency such as the one described above where medical providers almost always demand payment in advance.