Phuket Police balk at linking French expat hatchet attack to deadly Russian kidnapping

PHUKET: Police have yet to investigate whether or not a brutal hatchet attack on a French expat this month could have been connected to a Russian kidnapping case in Phuket last year.

Frenchman Eric Seigneurin, manager of Blue Garden Resort and Spa in Cherng Talay, was attacked with a hatchet outside his home in the area on February 8 (story here).

He sustained a wound four inches deep to the back of his head and was rushed to Thalang Hospital.

However, police have yet to investigate whether the hatchet attack may have been related to an “alleged” kidnapping ordeal, which saw 22-year-old Russian woman Iana Strizheus found bruised and battered in a room at Mr Seigneurin’s resort on March 16 last year (story here).

The body of Ms Strizheus’ boyfriend, Alexey Slabinskiy, 39, was found two weeks later (story here).

The couple disappeared on March 7 last year, and shortly thereafter told relatives in Russia that they had been kidnapped and needed money (story here).

“At this stage, our priority is to find Mr Seigneurin’s attacker. I cannot say whether or not the attack was related to the Russian incident. We need more information first,” Lt Jirasak Sungwisut of the Cherng Talay Police told the Phuket Gazette today.

“Mr Seigneurin has yet to come forward with his statement. I went to the hospital after the attack, but he was not in a state to talk because of his injuries.”

Lt Jirasak said that police would expand their investigation once they had arrested a suspect.

“I cannot give any more information at this point, as the case is under investigation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available,” he said.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News
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