Police in Immigration Bureau Division 4 briefed the media on the matter on Wednesday. Major General Nattawat Karndee explained that the police had become involved through a report on Facebook and had investigated the case relating to a 9-year-old schoolgirl reported as being kidnapped and taken into Laos.
There was a bizarre kidnapping of a young Thai girl in Khon Kaen this week committed by a 43-year Finnish man but which turned out not to constitute a crime. The man risked a lot, however, running the gauntlet of potentially serious criminal sanctions and the wrath of his young Thai wife when he decided to reunite his 9-year-old daughter with her biological father and love rival, another 37-year-old Finnish national who lives in Laos.
A Finnish man flew out of Thailand on Wednesday after completing a mission for which he flew into the country last Friday the 20th September. 43-year-old Jarkko Thomas Koskinen, also known in Thailand as Juggo, is married to a Thai woman in Khon Kaen named as Boonthai Halinen. Mr Koskinen is a computer technician and security guard in Finland. The couple have a three-year-old son together and Ms Boonthai has a nine-year-old daughter. Ms Boonthai had previously been married for nine years to another Finnish man, a 37-year-old engineer named as Yukka Marti Halinen.
Visit to celebrate his step daughter’s birthday
The reason for his visit to Thailand ostensibly was to celebrate his step daughter’s birthday at a hotel in Nong Khai on the 22nd of September. He had collected 9-year-old Olivia Saithong earlier from her private school in Khon Kaen. However, on the 23rd of September, the Finish man did something that shocked his Thai wife. He travelled with the young girl across the border into Laos.
Mother went on Facebook seeking help
This prompted panic from the girl’s mother who on the 24th resorted to Facebook seeking help rather than directly contacting the police. Concerned Thai people were not long in passing the matter to the attention of the Thai police. Officers working with Immigration Division 4 were quickly on to the matter in search of the 9-year Thai girl and her stepfather Juggo or Jarkko Thomas Koskinen.
Police discovered that the Finn had taken the Thai girl into Laos using the biometric system
Officers found through the much-vaunted new biometrics system now installed at all Thai border crossings that Mr Koskinen had travelled out of Thailand and into Laos at 14.35 on the 23rd of September at the Nong Khai border crossing.
An alert was put out in relation to the matter and the story received even more social media attention. One was an emotional video appeal by the young mother to her husband to bring back her daughter. This caught the eye of the Finnish man in Laos who soon contacted his wife to explain what was going on.
Juggo was in contact with the girl’s real father, his wife’s ex-husband, another Finn living in Laos
It transpired that he had decided to bring the young girl to Laos to meet her real father and to spend a day with him for her birthday. The Finn had been contacted by his compatriot and asked to do this service. It is understood that Ms Halinen who says that she divorced the younger Finnish man because of constant physical abuse, had specifically denied this request when made to her by her former husband and the father of her daughter.
Relatives suspicious of the Finnish husband
Local press reports suggest that relatives of Ms Halinen also told social media that the Thai woman’s current husband had been behaving furtively on his arrival in Thailand this week just before celebrating his step daughter’s birthday seeking out the passports of the couple’s two children, which he was able to obtain. This was noticed and when he asked to also take his son to celebrate the young girl’s birthday in Nong Khai, one relative refused to hand the boy over to him.
Immigration police briefed the media after the scare
On Wednesday, Thai police from Immigration Division 4 spoke to the media after the Finnish man had returned the young girl and stepdaughter to his wife in Khon Kaen. Police had just received a visit from the woman and her daughter who brought them flowers to thank them for their efforts and concern.
Confirmed the facts of the investigation
The Commander of Police Immigration Division 4 explained the bizarre happenings to reporters on Wednesday. It is an example of how different life has become in Thailand with the modern world of global air travel and the growing number of foreigners marrying Thai women. The police chief had nothing to say about this but just confirmed the facts of the investigation for the press.
Police brought in through Facebook
Major General Nattawat Karndee issued a statement in which he explained that his department had been contacted about the potential kidnapping of a young Thai girl on Facebook. At the time, the mother believed that her Finish husband had kidnapped her child.
The commander said that police had successfully tracked the man who flew into Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday last the 20th September had later crossed into Laos on Monday the 23 September. He was also able to confirm that the man had already flown out of Thailand and back to Finland on the same day, this Wednesday.
Finish man intentions were not malicious, there was no crime says immigration police chief
The senior police officer confirmed that the Finnish man wanted to afford the 9-year-old girl the opportunity to celebrate her birthday with her real father who lived in Laos and who was estranged from her mother. The Finnish man had been contacted by the younger Finn.
The police chief said that as the young girl had been returned home safely and there was no malicious intent in Mr Koskinen’s actions, then no crime had been committed. He confirmed that the police would be taking no further action on the matter.