$3.95m ransom sought for Cambodian businessman

$3.95m ransom sought for Cambodian businessman

Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri confirmed yesterday that a Chinese-Cambodian businessman was abducted after entering Thailand on Monday - with his captors reportedly demanding a Bt100-million (S$3.95 million) ransom.

Police have set up an investigation team to look into the case.

Prawut said surveillance camera footage at Baiyoke Tower I showed two men forcibly taking Zhi Chen away from the car park.

Chen was last seen at Baiyoke Tower 1, his Chinese friend Lee Sia "Lisa" Foo said when filing a complaint at Phaya Thai Police Station yesterday.

A police source, citing a statement by a Chinese tour guide hired by Chen, said the men approached the businessman, produced ID cards and claimed that he was wanted for an unspecified crime. The guide said he overheard one of the men speaking on the phone and saying: "He resisted coming with me."

At the time, Chen was walking around the building after having a meal with friends, the guide said.

After hacking Chen's e-mail account, police found that he was in the process of ordering Bt100 million in goods from some businessmen.

Police say this amount is unusually high, adding that the nationality of the "businessmen" was unknown. Police said Chen had travelled in and out of Thailand on a tourist visa and was based in Chon Buri. He did not have a criminal record.

Foo said Chen contacted her on Tuesday to say he had been kidnapped by Thai men unknown to him, who said he had been arrested.

She said he has never been in trouble with the police.

Chen's chauffeur, Li Sung, told police he saw Chen board a black SUV Toyota Fortuner on an unspecified date. He said Chen contacted him on Thursday through WeChat to say he wanted Bt100 million. Sung said he told Chen that he had Bt18 million, but was told to get more.

Another police source said the SUV had fake licence plates.

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