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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai arrested after casino hostage crisis

Thai arrested after casino hostage crisis

A Thai national is in police custody after taking a Cambodian casino cashier hostage and threatening to kill her if she did not hand over her cash in a Battambang province gambling den, authorities said.

The 37 year-old attacker, who police named as Aranhvike Champakhorn, was seized by police on May 30 after a Thai official was able to persuade him to release the 21 year-old victim, who received minor cut wounds from a knife to her neck, Deputy District Military Police Chief Nhem Savy told the Post.

"He was threatening to kill her with a fruit knife but her neck was only scratched," said Savy, who added that police and gendarmerie had surrounded the Fantasy casino, located near the Thai border, during the hostage crisis.

During the stand-off, Aranhvike first demanded money from the cashier and then asked that his father be summoned from Bangkok to intervene, district police chief Chhun Kim Hong said.

After his arrest, a crowd of motorcycle taxi drivers and onlookers had to be turned back from the police station where Aranhvike was detained, Kim Hong said.

"Many motodops and young men were angry with this guy and we had to protect him," he said.

Thai punters make up the bulk of the customers streaming into more than a dozen casinos dotting Cambodia's border with Thailand.

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