Police crackdown on kidnapping for crypto ransom in Phuket, Thailand

Picture courtesy of MGR Online

Authorities in Phuket detained four foreign suspects in a brazen kidnapping that targeted a Russian couple in the island’s bustling streets. The assailants forced their victims to transfer cryptocurrency worth an estimated 30 million baht but upon interrogation the suspects maintained their innocence, claiming no acquaintance with the victims and identifying themselves as tourists.

The incident, which unfolded yesterday, January 31, saw the Russian tourists forcefully taken from a busy intersection in Phuket Town and whisked away in a black Hyundai van towards the Naka weekend market area in Wichit. The swift action of local law enforcement, alerted by a conscientious citizen, led to the identification and apprehension of the suspects.

Today, February 1, the investigative team comprising officers from Provincial Police Region 8, Phuket Provincial Police, Immigration Police, and Phuket Tourist Police brought the four suspects in for questioning. Language barriers necessitated the services of a translator, as the suspects were not proficient in English, reported KhaoSod.

Police Lieutenant General Sinlerth Sukhum, the commander of Phuket Provincial Police, stated that following the tip-off about the Russian nationals’ abduction, the investigation pointed towards a Russian-led operation aimed at seizing cryptocurrency. The suspects, after capturing the couple, compelled a transaction of cryptocurrency, with the value believed to be around 30 million baht (US$844,119).

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During the preliminary interrogation, the suspects professed ignorance of the victims’ identities, asserting that they too were tourists who had arrived in the country around mid-January. They are currently under close surveillance as the police continue to delve deeper into the case, seeking further evidence to substantiate the charges.

In related news, police successfully rescued a Thai woman from a hotel in Chon Buri province after she was kidnapped by a besotted man who fell in love with her despite her being married and rejecting his advances.

A 39 year old Thai man filed a missing person’s report at Ban Pho Police Station telling officers that his 31 year old wife had gone missing.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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