Four people arrested after alleged abduction

Four people arrested after alleged abduction

Police arrest the three alleged abductors on Sunday at a low-cost housing estate in Pathum Thani's Khlong Luang district. (Photo: CSD)
Police arrest the three alleged abductors on Sunday at a low-cost housing estate in Pathum Thani's Khlong Luang district. (Photo: CSD)

Four people have been arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a business couple who escaped during a toilet stop in Ayutthaya's Wang Noi district, police said.

The arrests on Sunday followed the alleged abduction on March 10 of a man and a woman who escaped and sought help when the vehicle they were being held in stopped at a petrol station. Police did not release the couple's names.

Kampan Thonkoh, 51, Kritsada Prawiset, 47, and Somchai Meesat, 37, were rounded up near a low-cost housing estate in Pathum Thani after police led by the Crime Suppression Division tracked them down in Bangkok's Lat Phrao district and followed them.

Later Jitratda Hemseeda, 43-year-old wife of Mr Kampan, was arrested in Lat Plakhao area in Bangkok.

Police said the couple run a cosmetics business. They filed a complaint with Wang Noi police, saying they were contacted by Ms Jitratda who said they wanted to purchase a block of land the couple owned in Chanthaburi.

A meeting was set up at an office in Chon Buri's Bang Bung district. On arrival, the pair allege, they were held at gunpoint and a demand made for 5 million baht for their release. The victims said they were then taken to Nakhon Ratchasima in a Toyota sedan and told they would be killed if the ransom was not paid.

The male suspects stole 30,000 baht cash and other valuables they had with them, and forced them to withdraw 100,000 baht cash from an ATM, the couple alleged.

When they reached Ayutthaya's Wang Noi district, the pair asked to go to the toilet and the suspects pulled in to a petrol station. The couple made a run for it into the crowd and asked for help.

Police said they seized 50 counterfeit 1,000-baht banknotes and some walkie talkies from the suspects. An extended investigation uncovered another 560 forged 1,000-baht notes and a small amount of crystal methamphetamine.

The suspects were initially charged with possessing illegal drugs and fake banknotes, and having unlicensed communications devices. The abduction charge was still pending, awaiting gathering of evidence.

Ms Jitratda was initially charged with a certain amount of methamphetamine seized during her arrest.

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