Andrew J. Wood, President of Skal International Thailand, sent a message of condolence to Yvonne Mancell, Acting Secretary General for Skal International headquarters, regarding the death of Perth travel agent, Michelle Smith, while she was on a travel agent’s tour of Phuket in Thailand.
Michelle was walking back after dinner to the resort she was staying at, when she was stabbed in the heart at 10:30 pm by a pair of bag-snatching motorcycle riders who sped off empty handed, leaving her to die in the street, reported Phuket Wan.
In a related incident, a British tourist said he had been in Phuket on the same night as Michelle Smith. The man, who gave his name as Mohamad Zubair Edwa, 37, but is also believed to use the name Edward Wright, told his story from Phuket International Hospital, saying three men on a motorbike confronted him, and one stabbed him in the side.
Andrew J. Wood wrote to Skal Perth Australia: “The tragic events in Phuket recently has sent shockwaves throughout the tourism industry here in Thailand and overseas. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Michelle Smith’s family and friends in Australia. Words can never fully express our sorrow and shock following the violent attack on Michelle and her industry colleagues.
“The Thai government announced yesterday that it is an urgent priority for the police to investigate this murder and to find those responsible quickly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michelle’s loved ones, and it is our sincere belief that the authorities will apprehend the two suspects very soon.”
Sombut Atiset, who owns the popular five-star Katathani Beach Resort, told a media conference that Phuket’s undermanned police force needed all the help they could muster.
“We must catch these men. I am prepared to pay for witnesses to fly back from Australia to Phuket if it will help to convict these evil killers,” he said.