Masked men ambush holidaymakers on 'Death Island' beach where Brit tourists were killed

MASKED men ambushed a group of Brits of ‘Death Island’ beach where UK tourists were killed. 

Two backpackers, Brits Sam Venning and Carla Bartel, said two men in V for Vendetta masks attacked them on Koh Tao island, in Thailand.

The terrifying incident happened just a year before David Miller and Hannah Witheridge died.

The pair said they offered information to authorities charged with probing the deaths of Hannah, 23, and David, 24.

However, they claim they were never interviewed.

And they have now come forward to offer their help to lawyers for the two migrant workers found guilty of the killing. They were trying to prove that conviction is unsafe.

Sam, a British tech firm boss who was 22 at the time of the alleged attack, told the Mirror the two men smashed him on the head with a rock, as he chatted with Carla on Sairee beach.

Upon seeing footage after the murder in September 2014, he said he recognised the spot as where he had “face-planted”.

“It was horrific, I was right there where their bodies were,” he said,

The island, Koh Tao, has since become known as Death Island, after gaining a sinister reputation for deaths and disappearances. 

Meanwhile, justice campaigners have raised doubts over the convictions of the two Burmese men.

There were fears the real killers may still be at large.

Sam, who know lives in San Francisco, says he emailed the Thai embassy in London after the killings. 

He offered to give a statement, but never heard back from the team there.

Carla, a Canadian native, contacted the UK Foreign Commonwealth office in her home country, and later received an email from a Bangkok-based officer at the UK National Crime Agency.

She was told the information she’d given up would be shared with Thai police, but she heard nothing more.

Speaking of the island paradise, Carla said: “Many tourists go there every year.”

“I feel people need to know what goes on.” 

Over the last decade, at least nine European tourists have died or gone missing on the island. Six Brits are included in this stat.

A British teen reported being drugged, tied up and raped on the same beach in 2018, while in 2015, Burmese workers Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were sentenced to death for David and Hannah’s murders.

However, this case was mired in allegations of a cover-up and mishandled forensics.

The two men claimed they were tortured by the Royal Thai Police into confessing – and the Human Rights Watch has called the guilty verdicts “profoundly disturbing”.

The NCA admitted breaking UK law by sharing information with Thai authorities in 2017.

Burmese nationals Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were convicted and sentenced to death by a Thai court in 2015.

But the King of Thailand Maha Vajiralongkorn intervened to spare both killers the death penalty – and they will now serve life sentences instead.

The monarch reportedly pardoned thousands of prisoners on Friday last week to mark his 68th birthday.

Andy Hall, a migrant workers’ rights activist and international affairs advisor to Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo’s legal team, told the Mirror: “It’s good this evidence has been brought forward, we can consider whether we can use it as a means to reopen the case.”

And the National Crime Agency said: “The NCA’s assistance to the Thai authorities in 2014 was provided in good faith in the context of a fast moving investigation into the murders of two British citizens.

“We won’t comment on the assistance provided but can confirm all relevant information relating to that investigation was shared with Thai authorities.”

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