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Phuket Court Sentences Russians to 2 Years in Jail for Extortion

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Russians Prison Phuket

Five Russian men have been sentenced to two years in prison each for kidnapping a Russian couple on Thailand’s resort island of Phuket. The Russian men forced them to deposit more than $800,000 in cryptocurrency.

The Phuket Criminal Court issued its verdict at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The court first sentenced the five defendants to four years in prison for collaboration in coercion, illegal detention, and similar offenses.

Their sentences were reduced to two years each without suspension as a result of their confession. The court convicted the five men guilty of kidnapping a Russian couple, despite the fact that a previous police report said the two were Belarusian nationals.

The couple claimed that on January 31, about 10 p.m., a gang of men abducted them in front of a restaurant near the Lor Rong crossroads in Phuket’s Muang district.

The pair was led away in a black Hyundai van and compelled to transfer US$901,200, or approximately 31 million baht, in cryptocurrencies. Following the transfers, the gang released them, and they promptly filed a complaint.

The first two Russian males were later discovered in a nearby room, while the other two were detained at Phuket International Airport as they prepared to leave the country. A fifth person, believed to be the mastermind, was captured at a massage establishment on Patong Beach and interviewed separately. The five suspects initially denied any participation.

Phuket Murder Investigation Continues

Phuket Murder Investigation Continues

Meanwhile, police in Phuket are still investigating the murder of 41-year-old Russian national Mr. Artur Mkhitarian and have discovered that the Tajikistani suspect has fled Thailand for Turkey.

Mr. Mkhitarian’s body was discovered on Wednesday morning at a rented property on a hill in Soi Chao Fah 67, Chalong Sub-district. He had died from a stab wound. Mr. Mkhitarian is believed to have been murdered between 20 hours and the discovery of his body on March 13.

Miss Anna, the victim’s wife, reported him missing on Tuesday evening after he failed to return home. She and a friend, Mr. Axandr, called the automobile rental business that Mr. Mkhitarian had used, and they were able to locate the body on the marijuana field.

Witnesses living near the crime scene reported hearing a commotion on the night of the murder, March 12, but were unable to comprehend what was said because the people involved did not speak Thai.

Mr. Mkhitarian had arrived in Phuket on January 28, 2024, and his visa would expire on April 26, 2024. Miss Anna, 32, stated that she and her husband have been living in Phuket with his parents and two children.

She last saw her spouse alive on March 12 and was unable to reach him after 5:00 p.m. that day. Miss Anna reported her husband missing to the police, who tracked the car’s GPS to the marijuana plantation. The body was discovered inside the house.

Police suspect Ms. Khanitha, a Thai woman with a foreign lover, rented the residence where the murder occurred. Mr. Bakhtovar Murozoda, a Tajikistani national, also stayed at the house. Following Mr. Mkhitarian’s disappearance, he escaped the residence and flew from Phuket to Istanbul, Turkey at 9:38 p.m. on March 12.

On March 14, police discovered a red Honda PCX motorcycle that the suspect had abandoned at Phuket International Airport’s international terminal. They checked it for latent fingerprints and blood stains.

Furthermore, according to CCTV evidence, Mr. Murozoda was the only person present in the house at the time of the occurrence. Mr. Murozoda left the house alone, but Mr. Mkhitarian did not, and he died later.

The police asked the judge to approve the arrest warrant. On March 14, 2024, the court authorized Mr. Murozoda’s arrest for the offense of “intentionally killing another person.” The police will collaborate with Interpol officers to apprehend the suspect.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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