Xaysomboun Shopkeeper Apprehended After Tying up Child

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Shop Owner Apologizes for Tying up Child After Social Media Backlash
An artist's impression of the boy tied to a motorbike (M Godem Kmy)

A shopkeeper who roped a 9-year-old boy to a motorcycle as punishment for theft this week has been apprehended by police and has issued a public apology for the incident.

According to a report released by the Xaysomboun Provincial Police Department, the woman accused of tying up the child has been identified as Ms. Viengkham Thongkham.

In a video published by police, Viengkham has made a public apology and called on social media users to stop sharing photos and videos of the incident, and also to refrain from attacking her family members, who she says are blameless.

The video comes after her husband issued a similar apology on Viengkham’s behalf earlier this week.

According to police, Viengkham explained that the child had stolen items from her shop on three occasions and that she had captured him in order to return him to his parents and inform them of what he had done.

Viengkham maintains that the child refused to identify his parents or provide his address, which made her angry, and she decided to tie him up.

“I feel sad and guilty for what I have done to this boy,” said Ms. Viengkham in the video.

“I would like to accept full responsibility for the child. I would also like to request that social media users refrain from sharing videos or images of the child, particularly those that do not obscure his face.”

The police also stated in their report that Viengkham would be charged with a number of offenses under Lao law, saying she had taken matters into her own hands rather than contacting authorities.