The Thai government has halted sales of Grand Theft Auto after a teen brutally murdered a taxi driver while trying to recreate a scene from the game:
"We are sending out requests today to outlets and shops to pull the games off their shelves and we will replace them with other games," Sakchai Chotikachinda, sales and marketing director of New Era Interactive Media, told Reuters.
"We are also urging video game arcades to pull the games from service," Sakchai said. An 18-year-old high school student, now in custody pending further investigations and a trial, faces death by lethal injection if found guilty of robbing and killing a 54-year-old taxi driver with a knife at the weekend.
Police said the youth, an obsessive player of "Grand Theft Auto", showed no sign of mental problems during questioning and had confessed to committing the crime because of the game.
"He said he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game," chief police investigator Veeravit Pipattanasak told Reuters.
The youth, described by his parents as polite and diligent, was arrested late on Saturday after he was found trying to steer a cab backwards out of a Bangkok street with the severely wounded driver in the back seat, newspapers reported.
The suspect told police he did not mean to kill the driver, whom he had chosen as a possible victim because of his age, but that he stabbed him to death when he fought back, newspapers reported.