4 arrested over gang rape, death of woman in Thailand

4 arrested over gang rape, death of woman in Thailand

Nong Gift murder
Screengrab of a CCTV video showing 21-year-old Nong Gift being carried out of a pub in Chanthaburi, Thailand. 

BANGKOK: Four men have been arrested for their suspected involvement in the rape and death of a 21-year-old woman in Chanthaburi, Thailand. 

Nong Gift had been at the Orbit Pub in Muang Chanthaburi with three female friends on May 26 when she disappeared. Friends told authorities they assumed she had gone home, according to local media reports. 

However, CCTV footage circulating online showed the woman, said to be a single mother of two, had been carried out of the club unconscious by four men. 

The video began with three men carrying her into what appeared to be the lobby of a building. A fourth man, as well as a woman, were seen following them. The group laid her on the ground briefly, but one of them lifted her again and carried her out of the building. 

According to The Nation, the victim was later seen being placed in the back of a pick-up truck and driven away. The other woman in the video followed the group to the truck with the victim's purse, but did not get on. 

The Daily Mail reported that at about 2am on May 27, during the Champions League final screening at the pub, Nong Gift was brought to a secluded orchard, where she was raped and beaten to death. She was later found partially undressed, foaming at the mouth and bleeding from her nose.

Citing police, The Nation identified the men as debt collectors Natthapong Saenkla, 24, Patthawee Boontham, 23, Surasit Jaikhammee, 23 and an 18-year-old who was not named. 

The police chief said three of the men confessed to rape, but denied drugging her. Surasit said he was present, but did not participate in the rape.

The unidentified woman in the video told police she did not know the victim personally, but knew one of the suspects and had assumed the victim consented to going with them, The Nation reported. 

Authorities said they were seeking Nong Gift's friends, who had invited her to the pub, for questioning. 

Source: CNA/hs