Five Russians jailed in Phuket for kidnapping and crypto extortion

Picture courtesy of Phuket City Police

Five Russian men have been sentenced to two years each in prison for kidnapping and extorting a Russian couple. The incident took place in Phuket Town earlier this year.

The verdict was confirmed by the Phuket Provincial Court yesterday. The names of the culprits were not disclosed in the court’s announcement. They were initially sentenced to a jail term of four years each, but since they pleaded guilty, their sentences were halved.

These Russian men were apprehended by the police following the abduction of Albert Viviankou, a 23 year old Belarusian national, and his wife. On the evening of January 31, they were forcefully pushed into a black Hyundai minivan by a group of men and taken to a residence near the Naka Market.

The couple was then coerced into transferring US$801,200, equivalent to nearly 30 million baht, in an undisclosed cryptocurrency. After the transaction, the couple was released unscathed, not far from where they were kidnapped.

Once the couple was secure, the police raided the location, arresting the malefactors and confiscating evidence, reported The Phuket News.

While the court’s statement did not reveal the identities of the men, police reports at the time of the arrest identified the five as 37 year old Zalim Nalchikov, 30 year old Oleg Bogdanov, 36 year old Azamat Nagoev, 29 year old Islam Abdokov, and 36 year old Aslan Abazov.

In related news, a 24 year old man was arrested in the Klong Toey district of Bangkok on charges of abducting and molesting a young girl under the age of 15 and committing rape of a child under the age of 13. The suspect, identified only as Thanachot, was apprehended following a mother’s shocking discovery of her daughter’s ordeal, which led to a police report and subsequent arrest warrant.

On February 21, in a significant operation led by Police Colonel Manoon Kaewkam, the head of Subdivision 1, Division of Suppression, and Police Lieutenant Colonel Rueangwit Duangjinda, the team successfully detained Thanachot on the strength of a warrant issued by the South Bangkok Criminal Court dated January 29.

Crime NewsPhuket NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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