Manhunt now launched for rape suspect of an Aussie tourist

Bangkok police are now hunting for a former 32-year-old motorcycle taxi and charity worker after gaining strong evidence that he might be the suspect who raped a 21-year-old Australian tourist at an abandoned building in Bangkok last Monday.

Identified the suspect as Ake-burut Ritrakphan, 32, pressure was also mounted on his family to persuade the fugitive to turn himself in to the police immediately as his crime has greatly damaged the country's tourism image which authorities are restoring.

Arrest warrant has been issued by the court.

Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn confirmed the Aussie tourist was raped, dismissing earlier police assumption of her rape story just because she was able to report her sexual assault fast.

The police commissioner said a physical examination by doctors has revealed traces of semen in the her birth cavity.

But the ethnicity of the source however has not been determined.

Further tests will have to be made.

The commissioner said rape is a complicated matter and depends on many criteria such as whether the victim is older than 15 years and whether there was actual consent or was the intercourse forced.

If consent was given and the victim was older than 15 years of age then it was not a crime.

But in any event the police have an initial assumption that it was rape as semen was found in her body.

The commissioner's confirmation came after the police gained more evidence of the case and from witnesses

They now have obtained closed-circuit camera video footage of a suspected Thai man as he got on a motorcycle and rode away from a soi where the abandoned building is located.

Another footage shows the tourist in the company of other foreign males at Khao San Road.

Police have used this evidence to procure a warrant for his arrest for the alleged raping of the Australian tourist.

From the footage and witnesses from motorcycle taxis at Khao San road, the police have been able to determine the identity of the man as 32 year old Bangkok native identified as Ake-burut Ritrakphan.

The suspect had a previous record of committing a similar crime which was reported at the Bang Yi Khan police station.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)