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49-year-old Chiang Rai Man Arrested For Kidnapping And Extortion



49 Year old suspect at a Chiang Rai police station. Photo: Weerasak Panyachod

49 Year old suspect at a Chiang Rai police station. Photo: Weerasak Panyachod

CHIANG RAI – Police in Chiang Rai have arrested a 49 year old man and are searching  for nine others after a Thai woman was kidnapped and ransomed for 210,000 baht earlier this month. The victim was set free after her family paid the ransom.

According to a City News Report the incident occurred on September 14, when 10 armed men in military uniform arrived at the woman’s home in Chiang Mai, claiming they were police and soldiers.

They took nearly 31,000 baht in cash, a gold ring and a mobile phone, then blindfolded and handcuffed the victim and took her to an abandoned house in Chiang Rai’s Maekorn sub-district.

They threatened to kill her unless her relatives paid 2 million baht, but after negotiations this sum was reduced to 300,000 baht.

The woman’s family transferred 210,000 baht into an account, and the kidnappers left her by the side of a road, threatening to kill her family if the rest of the money was not transferred by noon the following day.

The victim informed police, and Major-General Thanitsak Thirasawat, deputy commissioner of provincial police region 5, ordered officers to investigate the bank account.

A 49-year-old Chiang Rai man whose name was given as Saphat, or Boonseub, was later arrested in Kalasin province. He has denied involvement.

Police said they believe the gang has kidnapped people for ransom before, as large sums of money had previously been transferred into the account. They believe most of the victims were involved with narcotics or other illegal businesses.

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