CHON BURI: Police suspect extortion was the motive in the disappearance of a wealthy German businessman in Pattaya last week.
They have identified a woman believed to have pointed him out to his abductors, and the recipient of money paid by the missing property broker, 62-year-old Hans Peter Ralter Mack, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy police chief, said on Monday.
He said police would find Mr Mack, whether he was alive or dead.
Investigators were compiling their case to apply for court warrants and he expected an arrest in the near future.
“The case concerns assets. The offender seemed to know that Mr Mack had assets. Detectives must find out if he knew Mr Mack personally,” the deputy national police chief said.
Police would also look into the business activities of other people in the case, he said.
The missing man's silver Mercedes-Benz E350 coupe was found by police on Sunday morning in the CC Condominium parking lot on Khao Noi road in tambon Nong Prue.
Pol Gen Surachate confirmed reports that a chemical cleanser had been used inside the vehicle in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Two foreigners were called in for questioning at Nong Prue police station in Bang Lamung district on Sunday night in connection with the case. Their names and nationality were not disclosed. They were accompanied by their lawyers.
Pol Col Tawee Kudthalaeng, Nong Prue police chief, said the two declined to give statements, saying their lawyers would represent them in any legal proceedings.
A woman suspected of involvement in Mr Mack's disappearance was earlier called in for questioning. She also declined to cooperate, saying her lawyer would act on her behalf.
Later on Sunday night, Pol Maj Gen Theerachai Chamnanmor, chief investigator of Provincial Police Region 2, led immigration and tourist police, with a court warrant, to search house 21/302 in Chok Chai Garden 2 housing estate at Moo 10 in tambon Nong Prue. The house belonged to one of the suspects. Police did not find anything suspicious in the house.
Sources said investigators had detected suspicious financial transactions totalling about 2 million baht which might be linked to the man's disappearance.
Mr Mack, 62, has not been seen since July 4. His Thai wife, Piriya Boonmark, said he left their Swiss Paradise housing estate home in Pattaya in his Mercedes Benz to meet a foreign property broker he had recently met.
The family filed a missing person complaint with police on July 5 and later offered a reward of 3 million baht for information on Mr Mack's whereabouts, and 100,000 baht on his car.
Hans Peter Mack, the missing 62-year-old German businessman. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)