Aussie model Sunny Burns was “in shock and really” saddened when pictures of him circulated across social media and news networks identifying him as the Bangkok bombing suspect. His immigration papers and Bangkok address were also posted across social media. He surrendered himself to police and endured the six-hour long interrogation.
Suspect wearing a yellow shirt, carrying backpack and plastic bag
— Jack Board (@JackBoardCNA) August 18, 2015
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Burns is in Bangkok for some acting and modeling gigs. He also works in the country as an English tutor and a fashion blogger.
On Monday, a CCTV footage of the Bangkok bombing suspect was circulated across social media. In the footage, the suspect is shown wearing a yellow shirt, carrying a backpack and a plastic bag. Unfortunately for Burns, the suspect had the same height and curly hair as him. Hence, he was falsely identified as the man in the CCTV footage. Bangkok police circulated photos of him to warn the public and urged for any information that could lead them to Burns.
Fearing that he could be the next Schapelle Corby, he handed himself to Bangkok police, The Sydney Morning Herald said in its report. Corby is an Australian woman who was convicted of smuggling drugs into Indonesia. She spent nine years imprisoned on the Indonesian island of Bali in Kerobokan Prison.
“People were accusing me of being a terrorist…I had no other choice but to go to the police. The big scary [police] boss he came and he started screaming at me, and I thought ‘Oh my God, this is a set-up, I’m going to be like Schapelle Corby but a terrorist version,” Burns was quoted as saying.
Sunny Burns chronicled police interrogation via Facebook
Luckily, the Royal Police were able to retrieve a separate CCTV footage of Burns that proved his innocence. In his most recent Facebook post after police interrogation, Burns thanked everyone who showed support during his ordeal. Despite the experience, he said that he still loves Thailand no matter what and urged everyone to pray for the victims of the bombing.
Burns’ earlier posts on his Facebook showed him in the police car as other authorities were searching his house for bombs. In one post he said he is not a terrorist and he thinks the photo of the suspect looks nothing like him.
In another post, Burns said he had forgiven everyone who believed he was the terrorist. He said he loves Thailand and would really want for police to find the bomber.