Police on Thailand’s resort island of Koh Samui report a Russian couple requested assistance after a gang of foreigners extorted them out of $50,000.00 (1.8 million baht) in bitcoin.
On Monday, Evgenii Abdullin, 31, and his wife Ekaterna Abdullin, 31, submitted a complaint with the Koh Samui police. They claim they were at the Boy’s Organic Coffee shop in Koh Samui when six foreign males approached their table.
They said the six men began intimidating them and demanding money, Koh Samui police reported.
Four of the males arrived in a black van, while the other two arrived on motorcycles, according to the couple. The men threatened them and demanded they send them US$3 million in bitcoin (about 113 million baht).
Mr. Abdullin claimed he informed them he only had $58,000 (about 2.28 million baht) at the time.
Fearing for their lives, he transferred $50,000 in Bitcoin to the six men (equal to 1.8 million baht). The men then gave him a phone number before departing.
On September 16, he observed the same men following him and his wife. On September 18, he received a message from the men via the Telegram app asking if he had the remaining funds.
If so, Mr. Abullin advised him to pay it, or the equivalent in crypto, to them via Bybit. Instead, he went to the police station.
The deputy investigation chief for Provincial Police Region 8, Pol Lt Col Kittisak Daengchai, said a team of investigators would work on the case with Koh Samui police.
They began by reviewing security camera footage from the coffee shop and surrounding areas.
The Koh Samui realtors noticed the black van and two additional males on a red motorcycle.
The van carrying the four guys may have originated in the eastern province of Chon Buri. The red motorcycle was hired on the island and had an “M” sticker.
The police said the van had left the island.
According to immigration officials, the Russian couple had lived on Koh Samui for five years and own a registered real estate company. They have been in and out of Thailand several times. Their most recent arrival was in early this year.
Two Kazakhstani men, a German, and one Russian, were identified as the accused foreigners, with the nationalities of the two others still being verified.
Before the alleged event, they had stayed in Pattaya and then in a hotel in Koh Samui.
According to police investigators, two men have already left the country, the German on September 17 and one Kazakhstan national on September 20.
Immigration police are seeking the four other males.
Police said CCTV camera footage shows the Russian couple were openly accosted in the coffee shop, threatened, and extorted.
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