Koh Phangan rape suspect arrested

The surveillance camera footage shows the suspected rapist on his motorcycle talking to the Norwegian woman and her male friend while they were looking for her lost wallet, before the alleged rape on Koh Phangan of Surat Thani province early on Sunday morning. (Photo supplied by Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: Police on Monday evening arrested a Thai man for allegedly raping a Norwegian woman aged 26, one month after he was released from jail for narcotic offences.

Police identified the suspect as Rewat Hansuwan, a 33-year-old native of Khanom district in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. He was arrested at a motorcycle repair shop near Thong Sala market on Koh Phangan.

Police found he and his motorcycle matched the descriptions of the suspect in surveillance camera footage. The man was seen talking with the Norwegian woman and her male friend before the rape.

Earlier, the Norwegian woman told police she was looking for a lost wallet after attending a half-moon party in the early hours of Sunday. An Asian man on his motorcycle gave her a ride and volunteered to help her find the wallet. Later he allegedly attacked and raped her.

Police said the man had been freed on April 11 from a prison on the nearby Koh Samui after serving his term for narcotic possession and trafficking. He later applied for a job at the motorcycle repair shop on Koh Phangan.

Police were interrogating him and already received a warrant for his arrest from the Koh Samui Court that allows for his detention.

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