30 police officers rescue family of five after 18-hour hostage crisis in Bangkok

Photo via Facebook/ แฟนข่าวชาวสมุทรปราการ

Thirty police officers arrested a man who had taken a family of five hostages for 18 hours inside a house in Samut Prakarn province near Bangkok. The suspect refused to disclose his motives to the authorities.

A team of officers from the Samut Prakarn Provincial Police Office, and the Bang Plee Police Station, arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area surrounding the house in the Bang Plee district to put pressure on the suspect.

The family was that of a former community leader named Somchai Auphan. The officers successfully rescued four hostages, including Somchai, his mother in law, 14 year old daughter, and another child. However, Wirut still held Somchai’s wife hostage and threatened her with a knife.

Wirut contacted a female friend and asked her to bring him water at 7.30am. The officers collaborated with the friend to add an anaesthetic to the water before giving it to Wirut. While the police waited for Wirut to fall asleep, he suddenly threw a bomb to scare the officers, forcing them to enter the building to subdue him with a taser and rescue the remaining hostage.

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One police officer got a small cut wound on the ankle while helping the hostage. The hostage suffered a minor injury due to the knife. Somchai told the police that Wirut was his former employer who had just resigned due to a gambling debt. He came to his house the night before and suddenly grabbed a knife, threatening every family member.

According to Somchai, his daughter and wife were taken into a bedroom, while Wirut ordered everyone to follow his instructions, threatening to kill the two. The daughter managed to notify relatives, who later filed a complaint with the police.

Wirut refused to reveal his motive to the police. He was charged with detaining or confining the other person to deprive such a person of liberty, which carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of up to 60,000 baht, or both. Wirut was also charged with violating Section 392 of the Criminal Law by threatening or scaring another person with a weapon. The penalty would be imprisonment for up to one month, a fine of up to 10,000 baht, or both.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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