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Crime

Gunman in Manila mall standoff surrenders, releases hostages

Jack Burton

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Gunman in Manila mall standoff surrenders, releases hostages | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Al Jazeera
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Further to a story earlier reported by The Thaiger, a former security guard has released some 30 people and walked out of a Manila shopping mall after hours of gruelling negotiations, ending a day-long hostage crisis in an upscale commercial district. The gunman, identified by police as Archie Paray, a former guard at the complex, left the V-Mall in suburban San Juan city on last night with his hostages after he was allowed to air his grievances on local media. He accused his former superiors of corruption and abuse. Read our original story HERE.

Police say the man shot a security officer in the morning before entering the mall, where he held dozens of people, mostly employees, hostage in an office. The number of hostages was reportedly around 30.

According to Philippine media, the hostage-taker was armed with a pistol and four grenades, but was persuaded by San Juan’s mayor to leave his weapons before coming out of the mall.

“You have to leave behind your gun and grenades. You can’t come with the grenades. But I guarantee your safety.”

Gunman in Manila mall standoff surrenders, releases hostages | News by The ThaigerThe hostage crisis lasted about 10 hours, during which time The Virra Mall, located in Greenhills, an upscale part of the city, was evacuated. The complex is popular for its restaurants, shops, bars and a bazaar.

While major hostage incidents are rare in the Philippines, memories are fresh of when a sacked policeman hijacked a Manila bus full of Hong Kong tourists in 2010, and was killed in a gunfight, along with eight passengers mainly Chinese tourist, when police bungled a rescue attempt

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Al Jazeera

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Crime

Phuket national park officer fired over peeping Tom incident

The Thaiger

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Phuket national park officer fired over peeping Tom incident | The Thaiger

A national park officer has been fired after being accused of spying on a woman in the public toilet on January 17 at Phuket’s Sirinath National Park. 28 year old Abdulrama Mahaderi, was accused by a woman named Sopita and her boyfriend Panupong Rungrueng of climbing a wall that separates the men’s and women’s sections of the toilet at Nai Yang beach in order to look at Sopita. Abdulrama allegedly also had his mobile phone in his hand.

Sirinath National Park Chief Pramote Kaewnam confirmed that an investigative committee had spoken to witnesses and determined that Abdulrama was guilty of “misbehaviour and improper actions.”

Pramote confirmed that Abdulrama’s employment contract was then terminated, effective last Wednesday, 3 days after the incident allegedly took place. On its Facebook page, the Sirinath National Park made a post about the incident.

“It has caused disgrace to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and affected the image of the overall department.”

Sura Lertthaisong of Sakhu Police confirmed that Abdulrama would be facing charges and that he was currently investigating whether a charge of “bullying in public” under Section 397 of the Criminal Code would be appropriate.

Abdulrama had previously posted on the official Sirinath National Park Facebook page that his understanding was that no charges would be pursued by Sopita and Panupong.

“The tourists told me that they did not want to press charges. They just told me that they did not want me to do anything like this again.”

But after Panupong posted a photo of Abdulrama, detailing his alleged indiscretion on social media, others came forward with similar accusations.

“One group of women said that they were also spied on by this man on the toilet wall 2 months ago, but they did not report it and did not press charges – and the truth faded away as if nothing ever happened.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Thailand

Border districts screening cars for smuggling illegal migrants

The Thaiger

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Border districts screening cars for smuggling illegal migrants | The Thaiger

Security officers in Thailand’s 3 border districts are under strict orders to screen all cars at security checkpoints for illegal migrant smuggling. The orders come after the arrests of 3 Thais who allegedly smuggled illegal migrants into the country using their own cars, with all cases being linked to each other.

The smugglers tried to escape being detected by authorities as they used their own cars instead of the typical trucks that have historically alarmed police. One of the 3 drivers arrested was 44 year old Sasiphen Sillapachai, the wife of a tambon administration organisation official in Sangkhla Buri. 38 year old Prawit Kaewdam and 40 year old Atchara Chinsoranan were the others arrested.

Sasiphen was driving a car carrying 4 migrants when she was stopped in Thong Pha Phum on Friday. Prawit and Atchara were caught at a checkpoint in Sangkhla Buri on the same day following a search of their 2 Toyota Fortuner vehicles, one with 2 illegal migrant workers and the other with 1. All of the suspects confessed to being paid 14,000 baht each to smuggle the migrant workers.

The order applies to checkpoints in Sangkhla Buri, Thong Pha Phum and Sai Yok districts, and is focusing in particularly on the Ban Namkerk and Rantee bridge checkpoints in Sangkhla Buri.

Such smuggling of illegal migrant workers from Myanmar, where nearly 140,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported, has been blamed for setting off a 2nd wave of infections in Thailand, which has seen infections more than triple over the past five weeks since the pandemic began last year.

Smuggling gangs in Kanchanaburi and other border provinces have been aided by corrupt police, local officials and military officials who look the other way. But the Covid pandemic has forced the government of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to admit that the country has a serious problem that must be addressed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Courteous thief apologises to Bangkok convenience store: Sorry I’ve a kid

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Courteous thief apologises to Bangkok convenience store: Sorry I’ve a kid | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

A young man armed with a knife allegedly robbed a convenience store in Ladprao district of Bangkok, stealing 1,800 baht. Before fleeing on a motorcycle, he apologised to the staff, saying “Sorry. I’ve a kid”.

It’s really hard to find a thief with good manners these days.

The female staff who was in the store when the man came in told the reporter that she saw the man in a cream shirt with short sleeves, walking in the store and carrying a bag. He suddenly pointed the knife to threaten the staff for money. The terrified staff walked to the cashier counter and gave him money.

After checking CCTV cameras, police say the thief is between 25-30 of his age, and was not wearing a face mask. He was seen parking his motorcycle in front of the store before entering. He appeared to be carrying what looked like a fruit packing knife. The police are now tracking him down.

SOURCE: Thai Visa| Sanook

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