Five charged with Chinese businessman's kidnap, ransom

Five charged with Chinese businessman's kidnap, ransom

The white Mitsubishi Champ used in the kidnap of the Chinese businessman, as recorded by a surveillance camera. (Photo supplied)
The white Mitsubishi Champ used in the kidnap of the Chinese businessman, as recorded by a surveillance camera. (Photo supplied)

Five suspects have been arrested for the kidnapping of a Chinese businessman for ransom from a street off Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok on Saturday afternoon.

Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen  Phukphong Phongpetra said on Wednesday the arrests were made by the Children and Women Protection Sub-Division.

On Sunday, an individual named Kriangkrai Jaikham notified the Children and Women Protection Sub-Division that Chen Lei, aka Lucas, 43, a Chinese businessman, was abducted from Sukhumvit 39 road in Bangkok's Watthana district about 4.30pm on Dec 5. 

Mr Kriangkrai alleged he was later contacted by Seow Tung Yin, 49, a Malaysian guide, who demanded a ransom of 3 million Chinese yuan (about 15 million baht) for the release of Mr Lucas, or he would be killed, Pol Lt Gen Pakapong said.

The sub-division commander, Pol Col Jirakrit Jarunpat, launched an investigation.

They learned that the Chinese businessman was taken away in a white Mitsubishi Champ sedan. The front and rear licence plates were covered over with paper.

Surveillance camera recordings tracked the car to Pho House Resort in Bang Pla Ma district, Suphan Buri province, the MPB chief said.

Police raided the resort and arrested five men, and freed the Chinese businessman.

Pol Lt Gen Phukphong identified the alleged abductors as four Thai men - named as  Somboon, Suchart, Vorapong and Wanchai  - and the Malaysian guide who delivered the ransom demand.

The Mitsubishi car used in the kidnap was found at the resort.

Mr Lucas, the Chinese businessman, was found in a room at the resort.

Mr Wanchai, one of the suspects, had in his possession an ATM card, a bank account, several mobile phones and about 500,000 baht cash.

Pol Lt Gen Phukphong said there were seven suspects in this case. The two others, both Myanmar nationals, were still at large.

He said Mr Suchart was a construction contractor and Mr Lucas was a wealthy businessman who had invested in several spas.

There had been problems over the slow completion of the construction of a spa, and the building did not match the design. This gave rise to a lawsuit demanding tens of millions of baht in damages.

The MPB chief said that while the Chinese victim was detained, the alleged kidnappers had used his credit card to buy 20-baht weight of gold necklaces, computers and a sound system worth a total of more than one million baht. They also withdrew some cash, which they shared.

Mr Lucas on Wednesday arrived at the MPB with a bunch of flowers, thanking Pol Lt Gen Phukphong and the police who were in the rescue team. He said he was not hurt by the kidnappers.

Pol Lt Gen Phukphong said the five suspects were charged with detaining a person for ransom, and robbery. They were handed over to Thong Lor police for legal proceedings.

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