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Body of Man Bound and Gagged Found in Mekong River

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Police in northeastern Thailand have discovered the body of a man washed ashore on the banks of the Mekong River. The dead man had been tied, gagged, and hit on the head.

According to police, the dead man was Thai and had been held captive in Laos for ransom.

The swollen corpse was found by villagers near the riverbank at Khok Kai Sao in Tambon Tha Kho, Police said.
Police estimated the man’s age to be between 25 and 35 years old. He was found wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and black trousers. His hands were tied behind his back with rope, and his legs were also tied together.

There was a cloth gagged around his mouth, and he had been hit on the head with something hard. His body was covered in tattoos.

Read: China Dams Continue to Hinder Water Flow on the Mekong River

Rescue workers said the body was swollen and decomposing. It was determined that the man had probably been dead for at least five days before being murdered and dumped in the Mekong river.

A body was sent for an autopsy to Srinagarind Hospital in Khon Kaen province.

On Monday, a 65-year-old woman came to the Tha Kho police station and presented documents to identify the body as that of Kingpai Khattiyanond, 35.

She said the dead man was her adopted son from Lao Khao village in the Tambon Hin Kong of Suwan district, Roi Et province.

She told police that Mr. Kingpai had left the village long ago after separating from his wife. He resettled in Nong Bua Ngam village in Si Wilai district, Bung Kan province, and met and married Wilai Harapan, 52.

On the evening of May 17, Kingpai told his wife that he would cross the border to Laos, leaving his phone with her.

The next day, an unidentified male called Ms. Wilai on that telephone. She was told to pay him one million baht to get Kingpai back. The man told her that Kingpai was held hostage in Laos. Due to a lack of funds, Ms. Wilai did respond to the ransom demand.

Upon hearing that her adopted son was being held for ransom, Ms. Boonlai traveled to Si Wilai police in Bung Kan province to file a complaint.

Kingpai’s body was discovered floating in the Mekong River in Muang district, Nakhon Phanom province, on May 22. Police are continuing to investigate.

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