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CRIME

German woman found dead on Thai beach

Thai police on Monday arrested a local man for the murder of a female German tourist who was killed during a notorious full moon party on a beach in southern Thailand, an official said.

German woman found dead on Thai beach
Her passport photo. Photo: DPA

The body of the 46-year-old woman was discovered on Sunday morning on Pha Ngan island after she headed to a beach late Saturday for the party, said Lieutenant Colonel Somsak Nhurod of the local police station.

Police named the victim as Astrid Al-Assaad Schachner, but the German embassy in Bangkok was unable to confirm the identity of the woman or release any details of the case.

“The police have arrested a 29-year-old man, who confessed to murdering the 46-year-old German woman,” Somsak told AFP.

Somsak said the suspect – Tiwat Kasempoch – worked at a tattoo parlour where the victim was last seen on Saturday night.

“Tiwat said he was drunk and angry at her,” Somsak said. “He found her alone outside a 7-Eleven convenience store so he invited her to join him on a motorcycle ride. They went together to the beach… he then strangled her with his hands,” he added.

Pha Ngan’s heady parties are famous among backpackers and tourists for drinking, dancing and drugs, and attract thousands of revellers each month.

Despite its reputation as a holiday paradise, Thailand has seen a series of tourist murders in recent years, including the shooting deaths of two Russian women whose bodies were found slumped on deck chairs in Pattaya in 2007.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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