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Seven surrender and deny involvement in rape of teenage girl


SEVEN MEN turned themselves in to police in Phang Nga yesterday to deny any wrongdoing in the alleged gang rapes of a schoolgirl.

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Five were immediately detained because the Phang Nga Provincial Court had approved arrest warrants for them. 
Previously, three other suspects have been arrested. Their trials will take place in November. 
A multidisciplinary team, which interviewed the teenage victim, has assigned investigators to seek arrest warrants for more suspects as her testimony revealed dozens of men allegedly took part in the crimes. 
The gang rapes allegedly took place between May and December last year at a small village in Phang Nga’s Takua Thung district. It was only after the victim, now 15, and her family moved out of the village with the help of Social Development and Human Security Ministry, that the girl dared to speak more about her ordeal and implicating more. 
As the investigation has made progress, police could obtain five more arrest warrants. 
When the five suspects showed up at the police station to deny any wrongdoing, police interrogated and arrested them, denied their bail request. They were brought to the Phang Nga Provincial Court for detention. 
Their lawyer plans to submit a bail request to the court on Monday. 
Their detention has increased tension in the village where the crimes allegedly took place. Some locals are worried that they or their family members will be named as culprits. 
Many have loudly complained that officials should also listen to their side of the story. 
Police’s deputy spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said police would ensure justice to all sides. 
“Arrest warrants are sought for those implicated by incriminating evidence,” he said. 

Published : September 08, 2017

By : SURIYA PATATHAYO ANOTHAI NGARN-DEE THE NATION