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Russian business couple say they were extorted by foreigners

Russian business couple say they were extorted by foreigners

KOH SAMUI: A Russian couple who deal in real estate have sought help from police, saying a gang of foreign men confronted them in a coffee bar on Koh Samui and threatened and extorted them out of B1.8 million in cryptocurrency.

crimeRussian
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 27 September 2022, 03:20PM


The Russian couple tell police about being intimidated and extorted by a group of foreign men at a coffee shop on Koh Samui in Surat Thani. Photo: Supapong Chaolan

The Russian couple tell police about being intimidated and extorted by a group of foreign men at a coffee shop on Koh Samui in Surat Thani. Photo: Supapong Chaolan

Evgenii Abdullin, 31, and his wife Ekaterna Abdullin, 31, filed their complaint with Pol Lt Col Udomsak Thappa, investigation chief at Koh Samui station, yesterday (Sept 26), reports the Bangkok Post.

They said they were seated in the Boy’s Organic Coffee shop in tambon Taling-ngam, Koh Samui district, on Sept 15. Six foreign men approached their table and threatened them, demanding money, Pol Col Phongsak Sukkasang, police chief of Koh Samui, said today.

According to their complaint, four of the men arrived in a black van and the two others on a motorcycle. The men intimidated them and demanded they transfer US$3mn in cryptocurrency to them, about B113mn.

Mr Abdullion said he told them he had only $58,000, or about B2.28mn, at the time. Fearing for their lives he transferred $50,000 worth of cryptocurrency, equivalent to B1.8mn, to the six men. Before leaving, the gang gave him a phone number.

On Sept 16, he noticed that the same men were following him and his wife. On Sept 18, he received a message from the gang via the Telegram app asking whether he had the rest of the money. If so, he should send it, or the equivalent in crypto, to them via Bybit, Mr Abullion said. He decided to go to the police instead.

Provincial Police Region 8 has assigned Pol Lt Col Kittisak Daengchai, deputy investigation chief at region 8, and a team of investigators to work on the case with Samui police. They started by examining security camera recordings from the coffee shop and nearby.

They saw the black van and two other men on a red motorcycle, as told by the couple.

Laguna Phuket

Police said the van with the four men might have come from the eastern province of Chon Buri. The red motorcycle had an “M’’ sticker on it and was rented on the island.

The van was believed to have since left the island, police said.

A source at an immigration checkpoint said the Russian couple had been staying on Koh Samui for five years and ran a real estate business. They had travelled in and out of Thailand many times. Their latest arrival was early this year.

The accused foreigners were identified as two Kazakhstani men, one German and one Russian, with the nationalities of the two others still being verified. They had stayed in Pattaya and later at a hotel on Koh Samui before the reported incident occurred.

Investigators said two of them had since departed the country, the German on Sept 17 and one of the Kazakhstan men on Sept 20. The four other men were being tracked down.

Police did not say why the Russian couple were approached so openly in a coffee bar, threatened and extorted.

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Capricornball | 28 September 2022 - 17:21:27

@JohnC...my thoughts exactly.  I think the police actually love to see an increase in the dodgy/criminal element, as they represent a more lucrative source of under-the-table ripoff income.  Got the inmates running the asylum, for sure.  Just more reasons people will continue to drop Thailand from their bucket lists.

JohnC | 28 September 2022 - 08:58:55

Dodgy people attract similar types. They were obviously up to something and the others wanted a slice of it or were involved up to their necks anyway. Maybe they were ripped off by the Russian couple first and were just trying to get their share back. Far too many dodgy Russians are allowed to set up suspect businesses in the LoS by paying whatever it takes.

 

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