Thai actor faces questions after Singaporean man pays bitcoin ransom to flee from captors
- Police said the star was linked to the abduction after the victim claimed he owned a pickup truck used in the crime
- The businessman, who transferred US$742,418 in bitcoin to his abductors, said he was kidnapped by a group of men including a Singaporean
Pol Lt Gen Montri Yimyaem, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 2, said the actor was linked to the abduction after the victim, Mark Cheng, claimed he owned a pickup truck used in the kidnapping.
Pol Lt Gen Montri said Kim had been detained along with at least three more people thought to be involved.
Thai authorities also searched the house belonging to a person of interest and found equipment and materials linked to the kidnapping. He said police were also investigating if the abduction was related to a business conflict.
Pol Maj Gen Chakrit Sawatdi, commander of Chachoengsao provincial police, was checking the electronic financial transaction claimed by the victim, he said.
Cheng told police he travelled with Kim to Thailand last Thursday. After arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport, they took a taxi to a filling station in Chachoengsao’s Muang district, where a pickup truck was waiting.
Cheng said he recognised the vehicle as belonging to a Thai actor whom he had met a couple of times for drinks. Once inside, he was blindfolded and driven to a deserted place. He was then assaulted, threatened and ordered to pay millions of Singapore dollars in bitcoin, he said.
Cheng told police he transferred S$1 million (US$742,418) in bitcoin before he escaped from his captors on Friday night.
The victim hailed a passing vehicle for help and asked to be taken to a police station. That was when he realised he was in Nakhon Nayok’s Ongkharak district.