Thai man shows how he murdered Swiss diplomat before stealing $9 from her pockets

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This is the chilling moment a Thai man showed how he murdered a Swiss diplomat to steal the change from her pockets.

Teerawat Thothip, 27, confessed to attacking Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, 57, at a secluded waterfall in Phuket, Thailand, last Tuesday (Aug 3).

He pounced on her from behind then strangled her face down in the shallow water at the beauty spot until she passed out.

Speaking at a press conference, Teerawat said he then stole 300 baht ($9) from Nicole’s pockets and covered her body with a black sheet before fleeing.

He was taken on a crime re-enactment on Sunday (Aug 8) and demonstrated on a policeman lying face down in the water how he strangled Nicole to death.

Locals found the body of the Swiss parliament worker last Thursday and police launched a murder and rape investigation as she was half-naked.

Teerawat admitted murdering Nicole because he was broke due to the Covid-19 pandemic and she ‘looked like she had money’ but denied raping her as she ‘struggled too much’.

He said: ‘I’m sorry. I have been unemployed for almost two years. On the day of the murder, I went to the waterfall in search of mushrooms, then I saw the foreign woman so I went to strangle her from behind to steal because she looked like she had money.

‘But the foreign woman resisted and tried to fight back so I strangled her and pressed her head in the water. After the foreign woman died, I looked for a black plastic bag around the area to cover her body and found 300 baht from her. After that, I drove home and acted normal. I’ve been following the news about this foreign woman after I killed her.’

A passing local found the body of Nicole after it had been left for around 48 hours at the Ao Yon Waterfall. Her blue denim shorts had been removed and a pair of Nike trainers and mobile phone were found nearby.

A stack of business cards with her work email address details of her job in the Swiss parliament as ‘chief of protocol’ were found in her jacket pocket. Police later released her passport details to identify her.

Devastated colleagues paid tribute to the government worker.

Swiss ambassador Helene Budliger Artieda said there had been ‘very sad and disturbing moments’.

She added: ‘My thoughts are with the family of the victim.’

Police said that Teerawat has been charged with murder – which carries a maximum punishment of the death penalty – and remanded in custody before a court appearance.

Chief Colonel Sermphan Sirikong said: ‘The suspect is admitted to murdering the tourist and gave a full description of how he did it. The case will proceed according to the law for his punishment to be decided.’

The death comes just over a month after Phuket – one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations – relaxed travel restrictions with a ‘sandbox’ scheme allowing vaccinated tourists to enter in what was hoped to be a model for reviving travel across Asia.

Thai officials had hoped the sandbox scheme would revive the country’s struggling economy. They are now scrambling to assure holidaymakers the island is safe.

Phuket governor Narong Woonciew said: ‘The province and all stakeholders are working together to step up security for tourists. We are thankful to everyone working to restore confidence in the Phuket sandbox scheme.’

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