A migrant worker has confessed to the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao in Surat Thani province, deputy national police chief General Jakthip Chaijinda said yesterday.
He is among three Myanmar men detained for allegedly being involved in the killings on September 15. The three men were identified as Win and Saw, both 21, who worked as waiters at a restaurant on the island, and Maw, 23, who works at a pub there.
Jakthip said Win admitted to killing both victims after becoming aroused upon seeing them making love on the beach. Police said Maw and Saw were apprehended on the island, and Win was arrested at a location in Surat Thani. No dates for the arrests were provided.
A police source said the unnamed pub where Maw worked was owned by the relatives of a local politician.
The source said national police chief General Somyot Poompan-moung had been informed of the arrests and had arrived in Surat Thani by helicopter at about 6.30pm yesterday evening. He apparently questioned the three suspects himself last night at the Police Region 8 Command in the southern province's Punpin district.
He is scheduled to issue a statement today at a police press conference.
As of last night, it was unknown if the men had been charged.
However, the source did not say if Win had sexually assaulted either of the victims before killing them.
The source said DNA tests were underway, but did not specify if samples had been collected from the three men.
Meanwhile, Maw said he was playing guitar on Chor Por Ror beach near a pile of wood where a cigarette butt was found, the source said. The butt was found some 65 metres from where the bodies were discovered.
Maw told police that he was smoking a LM cigarette, but later went home to his wife and did not see anything untoward, the source said.
Meanwhile, Britain has offered to assist police in the investigation into the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.
Somyot mentioned the offer after he met Britain's Ambassador Mark Kent, who reportedly told Somyot that the British government was ready to provide support, especially in regards to technology such as DNA testing, including identifying ethnicity.
Along with a drop in tourist confidence in Thailand following the killings, the issue has caused a public image problem for the police given what was seen as their aimless efforts in trying to solve the case.