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Marine police search for body

RESCUERS continued to search for the body of a British tourist who was murdered while sailing off southern Thailand's Andaman coast, marine police said yesterday.

The victim, identified as 64-year-old Malcolm Robertson, was killed Monday evening while aboard a yacht with his wife near an island in southern Thailand.

"Marine police and divers are searching for the body in the area near where the incident occurred," said marine police Colonel Lertchai Tinrat. "We have also asked the navy for help."

The search resumed after it was called off after dark on Tuesday.

Police arrested three fishermen from Myanmar who confessed to climbing aboard the yacht, which was moored near Koh Dong in Satun province, and tried to steal a raft, said police Captain Suparak Pongkarnjana.

"The victim shouted for help and they slit his throat with a knife and hit him before throwing his body overboard," Suparak said.

He said the three migrant workers from neighboring Myanmar then forced Robertson's 60-year-old wife Linda to steer the yacht to shore. They fled in a raft when they saw Thai national park employees passing by in a boat, Suparak said.

The victim's wife is recovering from minor injuries in a hospital in Satun province, he said.

Koh Dong is an island just off the coast of mainland Satun province, some 970 kilometers south of the capital, Bangkok.

The retired couple had been sailing the yacht from Phuket to the Malaysian island of Langkawi before returning to Thai waters, Suparak said.

Thai authorities arrested the three Tuesday morning in the raft about 1km from the yacht.

Suparak said they confessed to killing Robertson, saying they tried to steal the dinghy because they were desperate to go ashore after having been forced to work for months at sea.

Thai police said they were investigating the claims.


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