BANGKOK – With the help of Interpol two sisters, aged 3 and 5, who were kidnapped and taken to Thailand by their father over a month ago, were returned to Israel on Friday. The gag order on the case was lifted on Sunday at noon.
The girls’ mother complained six weeks ago to the Be’er Sheva police that her husband, 45, with whom she is in the midst of divorce proceedings, took them on the weekend as agreed, but did not bring them back. The police suspected the father kidnapped the girls, and it was later discovered that he left the country with them several hours after the mother filed the complaint. The father forged a document to get the girls new passports from the Interior Ministry, because the mother had their existing ones.
The father flew with his daughters to Greece, Turkey and Russia, before arriving in Thailand. Thailand does not have an extradition agreement with Israel, so it was difficult to continue the investigation there. Several of the man’s relatives helped plan and execute the kidnapping, sending the father money and extorting the mother, the investigation revealed. The police suspect the extortion was meant, in part, to pressure the mother to sign a document saying the father took the daughters out of the country with her approval, so that he would not be accused of kidnapping.
The police say the father was in serious financial trouble, apparently as of only recently, and received financial assistance from his siblings living in Israel and various other countries. His emotional state began to deteriorate, police say, and he had difficulty dealing with his two young daughters, who he was living with in an apartment in Bangkok. Based on this information, there was a fear that the girls were in real danger and that he was liable to harm them.
With the help of Interpol and police in the Far East and Southeast Asia, the mother flew to Thailand. There, they were able to locate the father, isolate him and take the girls, who were unharmed. The mother and her daughters landed in Israel on Friday. The Be’er Sheva police arrested three of the father’s relatives and will remand them on Monday. The father remains in Thailand, because Israel is unable to extradite him.