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British woman, 29, 'is raped by French man she met on Tinder on Thai island'

A Frenchman has been arrested after allegedly raping a British backpacker on a Thai island after the pair met for a Tinder date. 

Elies Gunenez, 36, originally from Paris, was arrested on Wednesday on the island of Phuket after a 29-year-old Briton accused him of raping her on September 7.

The woman, who had arrived in Thailand as a tourist but was celebrating finding her dream job as an English teacher, told police that she had met Gunenez at a beach bar on the night in question after the pair got chatting online.

Elies Gunenez, 36, originally from Paris, was arrested in Thailand on Wednesday and accused of raping a 29-year-old British backpacker on the night of September 7

Elies Gunenez, 36, originally from Paris, was arrested in Thailand on Wednesday and accused of raping a 29-year-old British backpacker on the night of September 7

The Briton says she met Gunenez (pictured during his arrest) on Tinder before agreeing to a date in a beach bar. They then went back to a hotel, where she claims she was raped

The Briton says she met Gunenez (pictured during his arrest) on Tinder before agreeing to a date in a beach bar. They then went back to a hotel, where she claims she was raped

Police said that Guenez had been married to a Thai woman but had recently divorced after he lost his job due to coronavirus. 

Later that evening the pair went back to her hotel room, where she alleges that she was raped three times by Guenez, using force.

The alleged victim contacted the British Embassy the next day, September 8, and was taken to hospital for medical checks for supporting evidence. 

She showed doctors her wrists, which she said had been injured during the rape. 

A police complaint was lodged on Friday, September 11, and officers issued an arrest arrant and began searching for the suspect. 

Police began searching for Guenez, and on Wednesday received information that he was driving a white Nissan Juke towards the town of Chalong.

Officers set off to find him before noticing his car driving in the opposite direction, according to The Phuket News.

Gunenez (pictured centre), a divorcee who recently lost his job during the pandemic, has admitted having sex with the woman but denies rape, saying the encounter was consensual

Gunenez (pictured centre), a divorcee who recently lost his job during the pandemic, has admitted having sex with the woman but denies rape, saying the encounter was consensual 

They pulled a U-turn to follow his car, then radioed ahead to a police checkpoint and asked the officers stationed there to stop him and check his ID.

After confirming that the man was Guenez, police arrested him on suspicion of the ‘rape of a person over 15 years old by use of threat or force’.

Police say that Guenez has admitted having sex with the woman, but has denied rape. He is being held in custody pending further investigation. 

Lieutenant Colonel Chompunoot Anantayakul said: ‘This is a serious case and we are gathering all of the evidence available, including from CCTV cameras and from the suspect’s phone. 

‘The victim was travelling and came to Thailand as a tourist before looking for a job as a teacher. She finally found one in Nakhon Sawan province in the north. 

‘The tourist contacted the British Embassy after the incident, who assisted her with visiting the hospital and making a police report. 

‘We have a duty to take care of every tourist in Thailand and we will ensure that the case proceeds correctly. 

‘I want to thank the British media for their interest in the case and for showing the work that the Thai police are doing to ensure the safety of their citizens.’

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