Actor faces kidnapping questions

Actor faces kidnapping questions

An unnamed Thai actor will be summonsed for questioning over the kidnap for ransom of a 33-year-old Singaporean businessman who escaped his captors last Friday, police said on Monday.

Pol Lt Gen Montri Yimyaem, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 2, said the actor was linked to the abduction after the victim, Mark Cheng, claimed he owned a pickup truck used in the kidnapping.

In a complaint filed with police, Mr Cheng said he was abducted by a group of men including a Singaporean, identified only as Kim, he had met recently. He claimed he was tortured and ordered to pay a ransom in bitcoin.

Pol Lt Gen Montri said Kim had been detained along with at least three more people thought to be involved. Police also searched the house belonging to one person of interest and found equipment and materials linked to the kidnapping. He said police were also investigating if the abduction was related to a business conflict.

Pol Maj Gen Chakrit Sawatdi, commander of Chachoengsao provincial police, was checking the electronic financial transaction claimed by the victim, he said.

Mr Cheng told police he travelled with Kim to Thailand last Thursday. After arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport, they took a taxi to a filling station in Chachoengsao's Muang district where a pickup truck was waiting.

Mr Cheng said he recognised the vehicle as belonging to a Thai actor whom he had met a couple of times for drinks. Once inside, he was blindfolded and driven to a deserted place. He was then assaulted, threatened and ordered to pay millions of Singapore dollars in bitcoin, he said.

Mr Cheng told police he transferred 1 million Singapore dollars (22.4 million baht) in bitcoin before he escaped his captors on Friday night.

The victim hailed a passing vehicle for help, asked to be taken to a police station, and found he was in Nakhon Nayok's Ongkharak district.

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