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She was abducted in the middle of the secure area of the 20th busiest airport in the world.
Shortly after 39-year-old Jincai Chen deplaned from her flight from Hong Kong (HKG) to Bangkok (BKK) on the evening of May 6, a group of four Chinese men and one Thai woman all dressed in black grabbed her arms and walked her through the security checkpoint.
On the other side of airport security near the baggage carousel, two additional men in black joined in the kidnapping operation. The group forced Chen out of the airport and held her for a 15 million baht ransom ($460,000) for 11 days, shuffling her from hotel room to hotel room across Thailand.
The kidnapping took place in full view of the airport’s CCTV cameras.
Police say the gang of seven who abducted Chen in BKK’s secure terminal had help from at least 10 additional people — including a senior sergeant major on the airport’s immigration police force.
The kidnapping crew sent ransom letters to Chen’s husband, who ended up paying the abductors 10 million baht ($311,000) for the safe return of his wife. When the group wanted an additional 5 million baht ($150,000), Chen’s husband refused to pay and contacted the authorities. Thai police were able to use the airport’s CCTV footage to track the suspects to hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya and Rayong.
Police said that once the authorities became involved, it “put pressure on the gang, who then released the victim,” Major Gen. Surachate Hakparn, who is leading the investigation, said. “She has testified about the crime and we will also receive her husband’s statements. We will pursue the gang and attempt to reclaim the money they paid.”
The gang dumped Chen on the side of a road in Bangkok on May 19 around 11:00pm.
Authorities have filed arrest warrants for the members of the kidnapping gang, but say several of the suspects have already fled Thailand.
H/T: The New York Post
Featured image by The New York Post.
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