Pattaya, Thailand — A Thai court handed down jail terms of between 21 and 46 years to three men charged with raping and robbing two Russian tourists last December.
The Pattaya Provincial Court on Wednesday sentenced Wichian Jaija, 36, Thongcai Jandee, 21, and Anuwat Wat-on, 33, to prison terms of 41 years, 21 years and six months, and 46 years respectively, the Bangkok Post reported.
The incident occurred in Chon Buri in the early hours of December 26, the Boxing Day holiday in Thailand.
The case was reported in the media worldwide and had damaged Thailand’s tourism image, as the defendants had committed a crime against foreign visitors, said Judge Apichart Themnoo.
The defendants were arrested one week after they allegedly abducted, raped, and robbed the Russian women, who police identified only as Maria and Anastasia.
The victims told police they were forced into a pickup truck by a man armed with a gun and a knife as they were walking back to their hotel in the popular beach resort of Pattaya. Two other men were inside the truck.
The men drove to a deserted security guard booth, and then forced them to undress at gunpoint and raped them.
Police said they then abandoned them after robbing them of their belongings, including two smartphones and several thousand baht in cash.