Criminal association charge is to be slapped against a kidnap gang

Police are to press charge of criminal association against a kidnap gang which included a major general, four naval officers and a police officer for allegedly abducted a Chinese businessman for ransom.

Eight suspects who include a major-general, four naval officers, a police lieutenant-colonel, a Singaporean and three civilians have been arrested by police with two others still on the run.

The gang alleged kidnapped Surachai Sae Yang, a Singaporean businessman, from his tourism and airline office in Soi Nualchan in Bangkok's BungKum district, on July 14 and demanded him to pay 20 million baht ransom in exchange for his release.

Mr Surachai bargained to reduce the ransom to 2 million baht and made an appointment for his relative to bring 1 million baht. The money was handed over to Opas Sriya, a gang member, at a petrol station on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

The group then told Mr Surachai to transfer another 1 million baht to Mr Opas' bank account on July 17 at 1pm. The money transfer enabled police to get evidence in the extortion and warrants for the arrests of 10 suspects for trespassing and extortion.

Police claimed that the gang used to kidnap at least four persons to extort money in Chon Buri and in Bangkok's Huai Kwang and Wang Thong Lang district. The suspects usually used a gang member, a Singaporean, to prey on Chinese businessmen.

Police said they would also ask the Anti-Money Laundering Office to trace the money trail of the suspects.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)