HK tourist jailed over false rape claim

BANGKOK: A Hong Kong tourist was sentenced to 18 months in jail by a Thai court yesterday after confessing to fabricating a claim she was gang-raped here earlier this month, officials from the criminal court said. 

So Leong-Ying, 27, claimed she was raped by the driver of a tuk tuk three-wheeled taxi and three other men outside the parliament on June 3. 

A Thai tuk-tuk driver was arrested but freed after police found no proof of her claim.  

The woman later admitted inventing the incident, saying she had been drunk and hoped to write a novel based on her story of being attacked. 

She was charged on three counts: filing a false complaint with the police, defamation of the tuk-tuk driver and falsely testifying in court. 

“The court initially convicted her on all three charges to three years in prison, but as she confessed, the court halved her sentence to one year and six months,” an official said.  

She might also face civil charges from Thai police, who have threatened to sue her for 10 million baht (RM915,000) on the grounds that her hoax story severely tarnished their image. 

Tourism Minister Sonthaya Khunploem has also threatened to sue her for the alleged damage she has caused to the country's tourism image. – AFP  

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