Fishing fleet detained in hunt for student's killers
A SMALL fishing fleet moored off the Thai beach where the British backpacker Katherine Horton was murdered was last night impounded by police who described the crewmen as "prime suspects".
About 21 Thai, Burmese and Cambodian fishermen from seven boats were being held outside the murder room on the beach at Lamai, Koh Samui, where Miss Horton died on the evening of New Year's Day.
In an investigation where a large number of foreigners and Thais have been identified as suspects and then ruled out, police say they now expect a quick end to the inquiry.
The seven boats put to sea from Lamai beach the same morning as the body of Miss Horton, 21, from Cardiff, a psychology student at Reading University, was found. Last night, the small fleet returned to the fishing harbour at Bophut in the north of Koh Samui.
Police say the fishermen are prime suspects because Miss Horton's body was found at Thong Krok - two miles away from the spot where her mobile phone was discovered at about 10pm on Sunday, 2 January.
A police investigator said: "We believe she must have been taken to sea. If she had been put in the water where she was murdered, the body would have travelled in the opposite direction to the spot at which she was found.
"With the currents as they are, it is impossible for the body to have floated in that direction. We believe a boat was involved and that the body was dropped in the water."
Burmese-speaking Thai police were brought in to help with the investigation. Police would not confirm if any of the fishermen had injuries.
One Burmese fisherman said: "We have nothing to do with this. We merely moored off the beach to sell some of our fish."
Last night, it appeared that the fishermen were the last suspects in the eight-day inquiry. The results of their DNA tests are not expected before Wednesday.
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