Thai director Danny says Myanmar abduction rumours untrue

Thai director Danny says Myanmar abduction rumours untrue

Thai film director Ramai “Danny” Moriphan, 40, hugs his mother in Chiang Rai on Tuesday, after he was repatriated from Myanmar. (Screenshot from TV Channel 3)
Thai film director Ramai “Danny” Moriphan, 40, hugs his mother in Chiang Rai on Tuesday, after he was repatriated from Myanmar. (Screenshot from TV Channel 3)

A film director was repatriated from Myanmar on Tuesday morning after his family claimed that he had been kidnapped for ransom by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) since Jan 4. However, Myanmar authorities insisted that he had entered the UWSA's territory of his own free will.

Ramai “Danny” Moriphan, 40 was received by Thai authorities around 9.30am at the Mae Sai-Tachileik border crossing in Chiang Rai province, said Col Sutkate Sriniltin, commander of the Special Task Force of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment of the Pha Muang Force.

The film director and fight choreographer was then taken to a military camp in the northern province for a debriefing on his ordeal.

The case entered the spotlight on July 11 when his mother, Kham, had requested the Royal Thai Police to investigate her son's alleged abduction by the UWSA in Mong Ton township in Myanmar's Shan State.

Mrs Kham also handed the police pictures of her son, who was chained up, along with a written letter saying he had been physically and mentally abused. The ethnic army demanded a ransom of 24 million baht.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, the assistant national police chief, had ordered Chiang Rai police to investigate and worked on the repatriation.

On Sunday, UWSA soldiers sent Mr Ramai to Myanmar officials in the border town of Tachileik, Shan State. Myanmar officials held him for a day for questioning before informing the Thai-Myanmar Township Border Committee (TBC) of his release, a source said. 

According to the source, Mr Ramai's story conflicted with the account given earlier by his family. 

The source said he reportedly told Myanmar authorities that he had not been abducted by the UWSA, and he had travelled to Wa State of his own volition to find a cure for his sickness, the name of which was not disclosed.

He added that he had not become entangled with a drug-trafficking syndicate, said the souce.

Mr Ramai was released from the military camp around 3pm and was brought to Chiang Rai police station where he met his mother.


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