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Thai Soldiers Arrested for Kidnapping Ukrainian Couple



Igor Iermanov and his wife Maryna Iermanova

Igor Iermanov and his wife Maryna Iermanova


PHUKET — Ten men from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, have been arrested for taking Igor Iermanov and his wife Maryna Iermanova from the Ukrainian hostage overnight and then demanding B15 million. But what should have been a smooth operation to get the money ended with the 10 in police custody.

The Phuket News reported the kidnapers freed Maryna, before taking her husband, Igor Iermanov, 37, to the Kasikorn Bank in Rawai, confident that she would not risk telling the authorities.

But she went immediately to Chalong Police Station for help.

Lt. Col. Chukiat Imjaitam, deputy superintendent of Chalong police, told The Phuket News that the couple owed money to a man in the Ukraine with whom they had been involved in a business.

Maryna Iermakova told The Phuket News this evening that she and her husband had borrowed USD500,000 to promote their multi-level marketing business.

Chukiat said the businessman in the Ukraine hired the five soldiers to collect on the debt. It is not clear yet how the other five Thais became involved.

The colonel confirmed that the couple were not suspected of committing any crimes. They run a kite surfing school in Phuket.

After releasing the woman, the abductors took Igor Iermakov to a Kasikorn bank branch in Rawai, but discovered that there was only B1 million in the account.

They then took him to the Kasikorn branch near Chalong Circle – near the Chalong Police Station – where the abductors told their hostage he could give them a check for the money but ordered him to call his wife to meet them at the bank.

Travelling in three cars, the ten men with Igor Iermakov arrived at the bank. Told of the rendezvous by Maryna Iermakova, the police were waiting for them and arrested them before they could go inside.

The five soldiers, when caught, were in possession of a variety of weapons, including 11mm pistols and Heckler & Koch 33 assault weapons. Happily there was no gunplay.


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