Korean alleged kidnapper arrested for preying on compatriots

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BANGKOK, Jan 14 – Police arrested a suspected Korean kidnapper who made compatriots his victims and sought a warrant for the arrest of another suspect while the man being held denied charges.

Assistant police chief Pol Lt Gen Prawuth Thawornsiri said police arrested Kim Seung-cheul, 44, allegedly for extortion, detention and theft, together with Zhou Chung-chul and about 10 other men claiming to be police officers.

They are suspected of abducting three Koreans for a ransom.

At first the group led by Zhou broke into a room of the victims on Pridi Phanomyong 14 Road, claiming victims had done wrong and brought them to a place that looked like a police office.

Then Kim told the victims to give Bt2 milloin in exchange for their freedom and escape from prosecution. Afterwards the victims were kept in a room. They transferred Bt210,000 to the kidnappers who also took Bt500,000 from their room.

Mr Kim denied the charges. He said he knew Zhou and was only asked to assist in a process to bail out Koreans at a police station.

He said he knew nothing about any abduction for a ransom.

Police sought a warrant for the arrest of Mr Zhou but found no evidence that the suspect had left the country.

Pol Lt Gen Prawuth said some police inspectors of Metropolitan Police Division 5 were involved by arresting three Koreans but Mr Kim later showed up to extort money.