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Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 11:52 UK
Thailand bans Grand Theft Auto IV
By Jim Reed
Newsbeat technology reporter

Grand Theft Auto IV

Copies of Grand Theft Auto IV have been pulled in Thailand after a teenager confessed to murdering a taxi driver.

The 18-year-old high school student is accused of stabbing the cab driver to death by trying to copy a scene from the game.

The biggest video game publisher in the south-east Asian country, New Era Interactive Media, has told retailers to stop selling GTA IV.

It is due to be replaced by another video game title.

Death penalty

Thai newspapers say the teenager, whose name has been withheld, was arrested while trying to steer a cab backwards out of a Bangkok street with the driver still in the back seat.

Police claim the 18-year-old confessed to stealing the taxi and said he killed the 54-year-old driver after he fought back. The teenager could face the death penalty if he is found guilty.

Bangkok police Captain Veerarit Pipatanasak said: "He wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game.

He wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game.
Captain Veerarit Pipatanasak
Bangkok police

"He wanted money to play the game. His parents, who work as civil servants, did not have enough money to give him."

Thailand's Culture Ministry has recently been pushing for tougher regulation of games like Grand Theft Auto.

It wants stricter age ratings and restrictions on the hours that people can play games in arcades.

Ladda Thangsupachai, director of the ministry's Cultural Surveillance Centre, said: "This time-bomb has already exploded and the situation could get worse. Today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a video game shop owner."

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