Americans arrested over Bangkok kidnap attempt released on bail

Edited on June 10

Thai police arrested an alleged former US Marines*, along with an American and 2 Thai men, including a senior police officer, for allegedly kidnapping a foreign businessman at a Bangkok restaurant in Thong Lor and then demanding a US$3 million ransom. The men allegedly abducted 60 year old Wen Yu Chung, from Taiwan, over a failed business deal or business disagreement.

Wen was reportedly abducted in broad daylight on March 28 at the L’Oliva restaurant in Bangkok’s Thong Lor, apparently during a meeting to “resolve” some disagreement over a large purchase of rubber gloves. Apparently, the men had bought 93 million baht, or around US$2.95 million, worth of rubber gloves from Wen, which turned out to be a much lower quality than expected, according to reports.

The alleged kidnappers include 52 year old Louis William Ziskin along with another American, 41 year old Jeremy Hughes Manchester, and Thai nationals 28 year old Prasit Narit and 58 year old Kritsnaporn Thapthawee, who is also a police officer. Some reporters say that Jeremy is also a former Marine.

* Mr. Ziskin has contacted The Thaiger, via the “media office of Mr. Louis Zisikin”, claiming that he is 1) not a marine 2) not the man in the photos or video during the police arrest.

The men allegedly demanded US$3 million from Wen’s family, but the family refused to pay the ransom and called police. It’s unclear how long Wen was held captive, but a report from NBC says that the men released Wen at a hospital after the family contacted authorities. They were arrested on May 15, but recently paid the 300,000 baht bail and are being monitored with electronic tracking bracelets, according to police.

“Their lawyers successfully applied for bail. They should wear bracelets at all times. They were also barred from leaving Thailand. Chung’s boss, who was also his mother, didn’t want to follow their demands and contacted us to help them with the situation.”

SOURCE: NBC (who credit Reuters for the story)

Bangkok Post also had a version of the story HERE

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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