“Big Joke” holds press conference in Pattaya over Chinese abduction case

Surachate holds press conference in Pattaya, photo by The Pattaya News.

Following last month’s abduction of a Chinese man in Pattaya by other Chinese nationals, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, held a press conference in the city on Monday.

The two abductors cut off the pinky finger of the victim, 41 year old Ren Haibd. They also sent a video to Ren’s 20 year old Thai girlfriend, requesting a staggering ransom of 150 million baht – or 30 million yuan – in exchange for Ren’s freedom. Her family transferred 150,000 baht and didn’t hear from the gang again. Ren managed to free himself and went to the police.

The abductors were arrested in Bangkok and charged with colluding in extortion, detention, physical assault, and stealing at night. They are 30 year old Zhang “Tatao” Delong, and 25 year old Zhang Wenjia.

At the press conference on Monday, Surachate said the abductors had been close to the victim because they ran a call centre scam together in a neighbouring country. He said the suspects crossed into Thailand from Cambodia to escape an intense crackdown on illegal migrants in Cambodia driven by the Chinese government.

Surachate said the abductors got into a row with the victim and abducted him for money, The Pattaya News reported.

An investigation also found that the suspects and the victim illegally stayed in Thailand on student visas. Surachate said that all three would be deported and blacklisted.

The Thai immigration officials who granted student visas to the suspects were undergoing disciplinary punishment.

Following the abduction of Ren, Surachat has been on the prowl for foreigners who overstay their visa time in Thailand. Surachat said earlier this month that it was clear that immigration officers in Phrae and Udon Thani had failed to validate the criminal’s claims they were students.

The deputy police chief said it is common for foreign criminals escaping prosecution to come to Thailand on a tourist visa and bribe their way onto a student visa. Then, they commit crimes in the kingdom. Surachate said…

“Let good people into the country. Do not let in criminals who create chaos and damage our country. I have sent a list of Chinese names to the Chinese charge d’affaires to be cross-checked for arrest warrants.

“From now on, immigration offices and checkpoints all over the country must search for, locate and wipe out and arrest any foreigner who has overstayed. These people could be criminals on the run who have fled into hiding.

“They come here to cause violence to our people. These criminals are dangerous and must be seriously quashed.”

Crime NewsPattaya News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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