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French tourists face Phuket kidnapping charges over €5k death-threat ransom

PHUKET: Seven French tourists have been arrested for kidnapping a 21-year-old Frenchwoman from Patong on Sunday night (Mar 4) and holding her for a ransom of 5,000 euros (about B194,000), which the victim’s family promptly paid from France after receiving a video threatening the woman’s safety.

crime, police, patong,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 8 March 2018, 11:30AM

Police in Phuket were unaware of the kidnapping and ransom demands until the woman filed a complaint at Chalong Police Station on Tuesday (Mar 6). Photos: Chalong Police
Police in Phuket were unaware of the kidnapping and ransom demands until the woman filed a complaint at Chalong Police Station on Tuesday (Mar 6). Photos: Chalong Police

All seven French nationals arrested are currently being held at Phuket Provincial Court, Chalong Police Chief Col Prachum Ruangthong told The Phuket News this morning (Mar 8).

The seven were named as: Idriss Sulliman, 25; Yann Kimulina, 25; Brahim Saifdine, 21; Mouhcin Wizkrane, 23; Yacine Maatoug, 32; Lydia Kouang Nlend, 21; and Sahra Zerari, 19.

“All seven are in custody while police conduct criminal background checks on them,” Col Prachum said.

“French Police have informed us that some of the suspects have criminal records involving drugs in their home country,” he added.

“We are still investigating their motive for this latest incident,” Col Prachum said.

“Immigration records show that they often enter and leave Thailand as tourists. Right now, the investigator is translating the clip and message from French to Thai to include in the file to be handed to the Public Prosecutor.

“That way the exact information can be shown clearly to the court,” he added.

Col Prachum explained that police became aware of the case only on Tuesday (Mar 6), after French embassy officials brought the victim to Chalong Police Station to file a formal complaint.

“They forced the victim to go with them from an entertainment venue in Bangla Rd, Patong, and took her by motorcycle to Soi Yod Sanae in Chalong on March 4 at 5am.

“They accused her of stealing 5,000 euros from them. They made a video in which they threatened [the victim] which they sent to her family in France. They asked for money from her family.”

“They threatened to injure the woman until she died. Police did find blood at the scene,’ Col Prachum told The Phuket News.

“Her family was scared and sent 5,000 euros. After that the seven French people released the Frenchwoman at midday on March 4,” Col Prachum confirmed.

“Her family then contacted the French Embassy in Thailand, who brought her to Chalong Police Station on Tuesday (Mar 6) to report the case to press charges,” he said.

Chalong Police working with Kamala Police, Tourist Police and Forensic Police began collecting evidence and tracked down the seven staying in a rental house in Kamala, where the seven were arrested on Tuesday.

“Chalong Police are continuing to gather evidence for the case to be heard in court,” Col Prachum said.

The Phuket News notes that Section 313 of the Thai Criminal Code, states, “Whoever, in order to obtain a ransom… Takes away a person over fifteen years of age by using deceitful means, threat, doing any act of violence, unjust influence or mode of coercion by any other means; or restrains or detains any person, shall be punished with imprisonment of fifteen to twenty years and fined of thirty thousand to forty thousand Baht, or imprisonment for life, or death.



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malczx7r | 09 March 2018 - 11:50:34

Most countries are multi-cultural, the problem is now, the latest batch of "cultured"  people have no regard to integrate or respect your culture! My police friend said, the first wave of Polish who came in were fine, hard working etc but the next lot were just the lowlifes, drug dealers, human traffickers, that's what we are seeing now.

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malczx7r | 09 March 2018 - 11:47:34

I do know my history and no i'm not Australian, whatever that has to do with these mindless thugs i'll never know!  I can't remember the exact quote or who it was from but it goes like this "the biggest mistake you can make is assuming all people have the same moral values as you"! My comments are based on how these people behave!

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Jor12 | 09 March 2018 - 08:30:42

That's what happens when you colonise countries. Now the racist neo-colonialists are complaining that because they are not white they are not French. Guess what they

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Fascinated | 08 March 2018 - 23:34:48

what exactly is 'French Descendancy'? I take it you are a 'White Australian'(you may want to check the history books on that one). 

Most countries in the West (and Asian countries such as Australia) ARE multi-cultural- time to take your blinkers off.

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malczx7r | 08 March 2018 - 17:32:32

I'm also guessing you're gonna report the Bangkok police chief for telling his men to concentrate on black men as these are the ones committing the most crimes

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malczx7r | 08 March 2018 - 16:55:06

I'm quite bemused how pointing out that these people are not of French descendancy is racist?? 

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ematt | 08 March 2018 - 16:43:56

The racist comments are not a surprise, as the comments section of PN frequently serves as a platform for hate speech.

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Tinkerbell | 08 March 2018 - 13:48:38

A bit strange to blame immigration in France, when most likely with names like these, they are second or third generation immigrants who were brought to work on France's economy in the 60s.
That said, if convicted, I hope they will be in prison for 20 years and wished they never left France.

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Fascinated | 08 March 2018 - 13:35:00

I am surprised the editors allowed the blatantly racist comment below. 

Would it be different if their names were, Marcel, Didier, Pierre, etc?

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Kurt | 08 March 2018 - 13:04:09

Wow, a good catch! Here is the full extend of the law in place
The names of the culprits are not French, but of immigrants

Question: As some of the 7 have criminal records in home country, is that not recorded in Thai Immigration computers?
Thailand not want such 'tourists', right?
A better international exchange of info about criminals (not political motivated) seems to be justified...

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