Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Friends grieve for an Australian woman murdered on Phuket last night

Phuket Tourist Murdered: Aussie Woman Knifed to Death in Failed Bag Snatch

Thursday, June 21, 2012
PHUKET: Police are hunting two killers who knifed to death an Australian woman in a bag snatch gone wrong on the Thai holiday island of Phuket last night.

The woman struggled to hold her bag. A 10-centimetre knife slash to the heart killed her soon after as the two men sped off empty-handed on a motorcycle about 10.30pm.

Another woman was also slashed on the arm but was treated in a Phuket hospital and allowed to leave early today after receiving stitches to a wound in her upper right arm.

Both women were in a group of 10 travel agents from Perth who had arrived on Phuket on Monday to inspect the five-star Katathani Beach Resort, which dominates the small bay at Kata Noi, south of Patong and Karon, on Phuket's west coast.

The motorcycle pair attempted to snatch the bag in the narrow road outside the resort but fled empty handed, leaving the victims not realising immediately that they had been badly cut.

The wounded woman told police later: ''We were walking single-file along the road, coming back from dinner. These guys had gone past a couple of times, and that started to bother us.

''Then I heard a noise behind me and I turned to see what I thought was my friend being pushed in the chest. I tried to help her.

''The men rode off, empty-handed. We started walking again, and only then did we realise we'd both been slashed.''

One woman died in the road outside the hotel, cut in the heart. Staff rushed to help the other woman.

Two of the travel agents later watched in sorrow, hugging each other and crying, as the body of their holiday companion was shifted from a makeshift resting place in a loading dock at the resort to an ambulance.

Grainy security camera footage captured the men on the motorcycle but the numberplate could not be distinguished. Police believe a particularly sharp weapon was used.

The brutal murder of a tourist will shock the entire holiday island of Phuket, just as it shocked staff and guests at the Katathani last night. The owner of the Katathani, Sombut Atiset, came to see what had happened.

Australian honorary consul Larry Cunningham sped to the Phuket International Hospital in Phuket City to check the condition of the wounded woman before joining Phuket police in interviewing her at the resort.

Australian Embassy officials are in the process of contacting the dead woman's family in Australia.

The Katathani on Kata Noi bay is one of the quieter parts of Phuket, some distance from the noisy swirl of crowded Karon and Patong and one of the least likely places on Phuket for this kind of brutal murder.

Bag-snatching by youths on motorcycles is one of the perils of Phuket, particularly for women out walking in isolated streets. But it was the first time anyone could remember a tourist being killed.

A young German visitor had her thumb cut off in a similar savage incident in Krabi Town, a province nearby, earlier this year. Her thumb was successfully reattached in surgery on Phuket and four youths were quickly arrested and charged.

Lately, talk on Phuket has been about the mysterious deaths of two Canadian sisters whose bodies were found on Friday in a room on Phi Phi, another holiday island a ferry ride from Phuket, or the six drownings of tourists that have occurred on Phuket beaches in the space of one month and a day.

Phuket police are likely to pull our all stops in their efforts to find the killers.

The holiday island made international news in January when Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner was in a group attacked by axe and knife-wielding security guards at a pub in Phuket City.

Prominent Phuket resort owner-manager Vorasit Issara was seriously injured but Renner was unharmed.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Terrible! Poor women. The island has gotten worse and worse over the years. I will never go to Phuket again. There are better places.

Posted by thomas on June 21, 2012 04:28


Uncanny, this coincides perfectly with the article you posted yesterday....I hope the police find these thugs quickly and the authorities deal with this incident properly

Posted by sky on June 21, 2012 04:28


As a former guest of Katathani I remember the premise and really never thought of bag snatchers in that dead end road. Hopefully the police will get some better CCTV footage from other cameras nearby or helpful descriptions by the taxi guys nearby and take these ****** fast from the streets.

Posted by Lena on June 21, 2012 04:28


A terrible tragedy not oly for this poor women and her family but for the whole tourist industry in Phuket.
Hopefully the police will pull out all stops to catch these criminals and bring them to justice.
Having said that I have no intention of allowing a minority of thugs affecting my affection for Phuket and it's majority of wonderful people. I will continue visiting regularly.

Posted by Arthur on June 21, 2012 05:14


Shocking incident very sorry for the lady her family and friends. These people must be caught and made an example of. The use of knives in all societys today is becoming too common.

Posted by chaseone on June 21, 2012 07:13


RIP - this is a terrible waste of life
They came armed with a deadly weapon and they were not afraid to use it. I thought Phuket was a world-class destination, not somewhere akin to a Colombian cartel ghetto?

Posted by Simon Luttrell on June 21, 2012 07:40


I am from Perth and this is just hitting our local news. Condolences to the poor woman and her companions, and thoughts to all in beautiful Phuket. This happens here in Australia too so it would be pointless to stop visiting such a beautiful place with such nice people.

Posted by Gavin on June 21, 2012 07:42


This is terrible news...RIP

Posted by Jack on June 21, 2012 09:16


Terrible news but not surprised. The increasing number of youths driving round on motorbikes on this island clearly looking for trouble is very disturbing.
My thoughts are with the family and friends of this poor lady,what a terrible way to die.

Posted by G Horne on June 21, 2012 11:01


That's not good news. I am taking my family to Phuket on holidays next week, not sure if I want to go now !

Posted by Macca on June 21, 2012 15:30

Editor Comment:

Probably as many crimes, I am willing to bet, where you are now, Macca.


To be put off visiting Phuket because of this tragedy will only punish the innocent Thais who make an honest living from the tourist industry.
Where I live we just had some poor old man burnt to death by some animal who poured petrol over him and lit it. In sydney we seem to have drive-by shootings on a regular basis and so on.
This is happening everywhere and if we allow the crims to set our agendas then they win. So do not put off that holiday, unless of course you live in some Nirvana where crime is non existant.

Posted by Arthur on June 21, 2012 17:31


Firstly RIP. Secondly, I have a question... Will the remainder of the group go home and in all good conscience continue to sell holidays here or will they make a stand and let potential tourist fully realize the depths this island has sunk to?

Remember change can only be bought about through people voting with their feet and going elsewhere. Once the Thai Authorities realize there's no money, they'll actually do something about it, until then this place will continue on its current path of destruction.

Posted by Graham on June 21, 2012 19:33


macca dont be put off coming to phuket, it is such a lovely country, i have been coming for years and have never had any bother, so sorry for the girl and her family but why fight to keep the hand bag just let them have it, not worth losing youre life for. As for simon luttrell comparing phuket to columbia get a life this was some random bag snatch which is now all to common not some drug wars in the columbian shanty towns. I'm from south london and i feel much safer walking the streets of phuket . . .I'm looking forward to my next phuket trip in september.

Posted by Darren walker on June 22, 2012 02:07


Very sad incident my condolence with grieved family we were 6 families on holiday in phuket on 4 to 7 june peoples in this part of thailand are nice and coperative so dont put off your visit MACCA

Posted by rajesh bobal delhi india on July 3, 2013 13:24

Monday May 20, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter