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Thailand's Foreign Ministry has been offered assistance in the investigation into the murder of two Russian women in Pattaya
Thailand's Foreign Ministry has been offered assistance in the investigation into the murder of two Russian women in Pattaya, Russian Ambassador to Thailand Yevgeny Afanasyev told Itar-Tass on Thursday. "We've offered help to Thailand," the diplomat said, "the law-enforcement bodies of the two countries have already established contacts." "Taking part in the investigation are more than 100 police; I personally met the General who leads the investigation. Russian diplomats are maintaining close contact with police. Russian consulate officials attend questionings and help translate documents," Afanasyev said. In the opinion of detectives, the crime will be difficult to solve, as motives of the attacker are obscure. The investigators rule out robbery, as personal belongings of the women were untouched. No signs of violence or struggle were seen on their bodies. Some information suggests that the women were to leave the resort on March 3. Meanwhile, Thailand raised the initial sum of a bounty for providing clues to the murder of the Russians from 100,000 baht (3,000 dollars) to 500,000 baht (14,800 dollars). One of the versions of the murder does not rule out the involvement of local or Russian criminals. Law-enforcement authorities are questioning all those who had talked with the two Russian women before the murder. Earlier reports said Thai police had composed an identikit picture of the killer. Gen Assawin Kwanmuang said the picture was put together on the basis of a testimony of a witness who is now under police protection, the newspaper Nation reported on Thursday. According to tentative descriptions of the man, he is a Thai national about 25 years of age. The witness, who is under police protection, described the picture as a surprisingly good likeness. Police also used CCTV records from cameras of a store located near the Dragon Beach Resort Hotel where the Russian women had lived. Police are trying to establish the identity of the owner of the motorbike used by the criminals. Two Russian tourists from Kemerovo were found slain at the Thai resort of Pattaya, beach Jomtien, on February 24. They were identified as Tatyana Tsimfer, born 1977, and Lyubov Svirkova, born 1982. The bodies of the murdered women were flown to Russia. Local authorities have been taking unprecedented measures to catch the criminals, but investigators have no suspects yet. On Thursday, Chonburi province governor Pracha Terat expressed the hope at a meeting with tourist business representatives that the murderers would be found shortly. Pracha Terat personally passed 100,000 baht /some 3,000 dollars/ to Russian diplomats in financial assistance to the families of Svirkova and Tsimfer each.
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