Luang Prabang police authorities plan to tighten village security after going through the ordeal of the first ever hostage taking in the city, following a drug fuelled incident last Thursday.
Officials from Luang Prabang Police Administration Office told the press yesterday that the incident presented a bad image for the heritage city and popular travel destination so they have tightened security in order to maintain peace and order in society.
Deputy Head Lieutenant Colonel Vayasack Khamphichith explained that this is the first time that Luang Prabang has ever seen a hostage taking drama, which shocked local people and marred the image of the city.
“Most of the police were also shocked by the incident after we reported about it. However we have learnt some valuable lessons and are now beefing up security to ensure nothing like this ever happens again,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Vayasack reported that the incident occurred on Thursday morning when a young man who was high on amphetamines snatched a little girl about seven months old from her mother and asked for money.
The 17 year old man snatched the baby from its mother’s arms in Phosy village and ran into the middle of Huay-ou Bridge demanding a ransom for the baby’s return.
“We had to give him everything he required because the man was holding a knife to the baby and threatening to kill her if he didn’t get what he wanted. We couldn’t risk the life of the baby,” the Lieutenant Colonel said.
It took about one hour to negotiate with the man and finally he asked for a friend to bring a motorcycle to pick him up.
“While he getting on to the back of the motorcycle one official ran up behind him and pulled him to the ground while his friend was able to snatch the baby from him safely,” he explained.
After initial investigations police determined that he had consumed some amphetamines which made him go crazy prior to the incident.
“We tested his urine and found that he had drugs in his system. Luckily the baby only sustained a minor injury to her right foot and left hand as he was holding the knife.”
Lieutenant Colonel Vayasack said police learnt a lot through the incident and have instructed local officials to clamp down on security in the villages, especially amongst people who may be using drugs.
“We want to tell everyone to take care of their children and stay away from crime and other social problems,” Lieutenant Colonel Vayasack stressed.
The Luang Prabang police authorities will also establish a specially dedicated rescue squad to save people from various incidents, especially traffic accidents, fires and any other incidents that arise.
Source: Vientiane Times & Facebook