A British backpacker is the latest casualty on a tropical paradise dubbed “Death Island.”
The 18-year-old, whose identity is being withheld, told police she was drugged and raped “in the middle of the night” after drinking at a bar on Koh Tao island in Thailand on April 4 with another woman and her Turkish boyfriend, local publication The Daily News reports.
The teenager has undergone medical examinations in the hospital and police on the island are investigating after the meeting with the man at the bar, who claimed to be a French policeman.
The teenager said she felt “intoxicating symptoms like being poisoned” and passed out.
The Daily Mail claims the woman is blonde and from West Sussex, England, and reports that the man in question showed police selfies the pair had taken the night of the alleged attack.
When the 18-year-old woke up the next morning in a hotel, she discovered a man lying next to her in boxer shorts, fondling his genitalia, according to reports.
She was only wearing a T-shirt and she said she felt pain in her genitalia.
In shock, she rushed to the bathroom, put on some clothes and texted a friend in Britain telling her she had been raped. She left the hotel and called her mother who contacted the British Embassy.
When police went to question the man, the bungalow in question was empty and he had apparently fled the area, Police Lt Colonel Piyapong Bunkaew told the Daily News.
Yohan Michael Tunka Buaga was arrested in Phuket on Sunday, where he admitted he had met the teenager and they had gotten along well. The 26-year-old claimed he was a French policeman and said they went back to his room where they had consensual sex. He said he had come to Koh Tao to “relax.”
According to The Nation: “He stressed that he had consensual sex with the woman three times and that he even saw her off when she left for her hotel by taxi.”
She filed a police complaint two days later.
He is in custody.
The island of Koh Tao, otherwise known as Turtle Island, is a scuba diver’s dream, and thanks to Sairee Beach, on its west coast, tourism has flourished in recent years.
But behind the beauty lies a macabre secret: Local mafia allegedly rule the island where backpackers flock to party. And, according to one report, there are “enough deaths and suspicious disappearances to warrant the island its own CSI franchise.”
Koh Tao was plunged into the spotlight in September 2014 when the semi-naked bodies of backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found on the same beach where Ben Harrington, a 32-year-old British IT consultant, died in 2012. Witheridge was raped before she was murdered.
Christina Annesley’s body was discovered just a few months later, in January 2015, in the same location where David and Witheridge were found.
British Backpackers Nick Pearson and Luke Miller, along with Belgian Elise Dellemagne, Swiss Hans Peter Suter and French Dimitri Povse were also found dead on the island. Russian Valentina Novozhenova is still missing.
Those involved with the island’s activities have claimed to News.com.au residents on the island know who actually killed them, but no one will say anything because it’s run by four mafia families.
Lt. Colonel Piyapong denied the idea that the island was cursed, telling Khaosodenglish.com: “Each case is different, and the context is different.”