Phuket: Thai man charged over murder and robbery of Swiss woman in popular holiday destination
The main suspect in the death of a 57-year-old Swiss woman in Thailand's busy tourist area Phuket has been charged with murder and robbery.
A 27-year-old Thai national living in Phuket, name, Teerawat Thothip has confessed to the murder of Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, a 57-year-old Swiss woman.
Thothip spoke at a press conference by telephone to admit his guilt and describe what happened during the crime.
Local police managed to trace the suspect using CCTV footage, during an interrogation it was found that he had scratches and bruises on his body that indicated that he had been involved in a struggle.
The body of the Swiss woman, Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, was found hidden at a quiet and secluded spot on the island of Phuket.
Swiss media have since reported that the victim was a member of the country's diplomatic service. Thothip told the media that he went into the forest on Tuesday in the hope of finding rare plants that he could sell but was unsuccessful.
On his way back, he claimed he passed a waterfall and saw Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf, before strangling her from behind, Thothip state that the victim resisted briefly before falling unconscious.
He then proceeded to cover her body with a black sheet and stole 300 baht (£6.50) from her backpack and threw her footwear into the forest.
He tried to justify his motivation reason for the attack, blaming Covid-19 for him having no work and no money.
Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf's cause of death is still to be confirmed and the autopsy report is yet to be released by the Thai authorities.
Kissana Phathanacharoen, a national police deputy spokesperson said, "The incident has cast a pall over Thailand’s so-called Phuket Sandbox programme to try to bring fully vaccinated foreign tourists to the popular destination, which has been struggling massively during the coronavirus pandemic".