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