Multi-millionaire hotel owner and wife found dead in swimming pool on Thailand’s ‘death island’


Pictures: See news wire

A multi-millionaire hotel owner and his wife have been found dead together in a swimming pool on Thailand’s notorious ‘death island’.

Rakeshwar Sachathamakul, 59, and his wife Anshoo, 55, checked into a resort on Koh Tao where Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were allegedly murdered by a wealthy Thai local in 2014.

However, the couple, who were both Indian with Thai nationality, were both found floating dead in the swimming pool later the same evening (June 4).

Their son Ratish Rashkwar Sachathamakul, 34, said he returned from a walk on the beach and noticed his parents before calling hotel staff for help. He said he did not go into the pool.

The couple was pulled from the water but were reportedly already dead and staff and paramedics were unable to revive them.

Bizarrely, police said today that CCTV cameras at the luxury hotel were ‘not functioning’ on the day the wealthy couple died.

Police Major Jiraphob Puridech said the husband and wife had been sitting at pool bar before going for a swim together while their son walked outside on the beach.

He said: ‘After the couple checked into the hotel they spent time at pool bar and then went in the swimming pool while their son left to have a walk along Shark bay.

‘The CCTV in the area had not been working for several months due to lack of maintenance but officers are now collecting evidence from the cameras installed in other parts of the hotel.

‘The pool was also supposed to be empty because it was closed down due to Covid-19 restrictions.’

Police Major Jiraphob added that there were no signs of struggle found around the scene so initial investigations suggest that the couple drowned due to the depth of the pool, which was up to 10ft deep at one end where diving practice once took place.

Rakeshwar was discovered lying near the pool ladder, while his wife was found in an area where the water was one metre deep. Police said that no hotel staff were in the area when the incident took place.

Police Major Jiraphob Puridech added: ‘The investigation will cover the depth of the swimming pool, their health conditions and possible foul play.

‘All of the witnesses will be investigated as well. This is to prevent the public from speculating and becoming scared of the area for its crime incidents.’

Police Colonel Wiracharn Khunchaikaew, another officer woking on the case, said: ‘The couple may not have known about the depth of the swimming pool which is around 10ft at one end. This was used as a diving practice area before.’

The couple’s son Ratish said that his father had diabetes, hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea.┬áThe bodies were taken to the Police General Hospital for a post mortem examination and confirmation of the health conditions.

Rakeshwar was the CEO and owner of the Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach hotel on the island of Phuket. He also owned the Bangkapi Mansion apartment block in Bangkok and was the managing director of Wireform A.N. (Thailand) Co, a manufacturer of precision springs and plastic parts for the automotive and other industries with a number of plants around the country.

The post morem examination results are set to be released after two weeks while investigations are ongoing.

Koh Tao has been dubbed ‘death island’ following a string of high-profile mystery deaths of dozens of tourists. The idyllic island is popular with scuba diving but it also well known for its influential and powerful local families, police corruption and mafia connections.

In 2014, British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were bludgeoned to death on the beach. The death was allegedly later covered up with police allegedly framing two Burmese workers while the alleged real killer used family connections to escape to the capital Bangkok.