5 Arrested for Kidnapping Chinese Businessman Over Lawsuit for Construction Delays

Chinese Businessman Kidnapped

Five suspects have been arrested for the kidnapping of a Chinese businessman for ransom from a street off Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok on Saturday afternoon.

Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) chief Phukphong Phongpetra said yesterday the arrests were made by the Children and Women Protection Sub-Division.

On Sunday, an individual named Kriangkrai Jaikham notified the Children and Women Protection Sub-Division that Chen Lei, aka Lucas, 43, was abducted from Sukhumvit soi 39 in Bangkok’s Watthana district about 4.30 pm on 5th December 2020.

Mr Jaikham said he was later contacted by Seow Tung Yin, 49, a Malaysian guide, who demanded a ransom of 3 million Chinese yuan (about 15 million baht) for the release of Mr Lei, or the victim would be killed, Pol Lt Gen Phongpetra said.

Sub-division commander Jirakrit Jarunpat launched an investigation.

Police learned the Chinese businessman was taken away in a white Mitsubishi Champ. The front and rear licence plates of the car were covered with paper.

Surveillance camera footage tracked the car to Pho House Resort in Bang Pla Ma district, in Suphan Buri province, Pol Lt Gen Phongpetra said.

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Police raided the resort, arrested five men and freed the Chinese businessman.

Pol Lt Gen Phongpetra identified four of the alleged abductors as Thai men called Somboon, Suchart, Vorapong and Wanchai.

The fifth suspect was not named.

Two Myanmar nationals, also believed to be involved in the abduction, were still at large.

Chen was found in a room at the resort.

Wanchai, one of the suspects, had in his possession an ATM card, a bank book, several mobile phones and about 500,000 baht in cash.

Pol Lt Gen Phongpetra said Suchart was a construction contractor and Chen was a wealthy businessman who had invested in several spas.

There had been problems over the slow completion of the construction of a spa, and the building did not match the design.

This gave rise to a lawsuit filed by Chen demanding tens of millions of baht in damages.

Pol Lt Gen Phongpetra said the five suspects were charged with detaining a person for ransom, and robbery.

Yesterday, Chen thanked the police for rescuing him, saying he had not been hurt by the kidnappers.

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