Details of the kidnapping of a Taiwanese man and extortion attempt on March 28th were given by the police on Saturday at a press conference. The plot, according to senior officers, was orchestrated in association with an Israeli private investigator to whom 52-year-old American Mr Louis Ziskin had gone for help to retrieve his money after he claimed he had been ripped off. Both Americans are reported to be ex-US marine corps members.

Two Americans were arrested by Thai police this week in connection with a kidnapping and extortion attempt on a Taiwanese national in Bangkok on March 28th last. The two were detained after arrest warrants were issued by the Criminal Court in Bangkok against 8 people involved in the plot which has been linked by a senior police officer to the loss of ฿93 million by one of the men arrested in a deal linked with rubber gloves. 

One of the two Americans arrested by the Royal Thai Police this week after a Central Investigation Bureau probe into a kidnapping and extortion attempt on Sunday, March 28th last in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok linked with a ฿93 million financial dispute.

Two Americans and a Thai man have been arrested by Thai police following an investigation into the abduction of a Taiwanese businessman in central Bangkok which occurred at the end of March and after 8 arrest warrants were handed down by a court.

The charges against the men range from illegal assembly to abduction, attempted murder and extortion. The two Americans arrested were identified by police as 41-year-old Jeremy Hughes Manchester and 52-year-old Louis William Ziskin.

The Thai man was named as Mr Ekbodin Prasitnarit.

The men are also charged with being part of a conspiracy and secret group working in concert to commit an illegal act.

Central Investigation Bureau press conference on Saturday night hosted by Police Lieutenant General Jiraphop Phuridech laid out the outline of the case

They appeared at a Saturday night press conference hosted by Deputy Commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, Police Lieutenant General Jiraphop Phuridech, which was also attended by Police Major General Suwat Saengnoom.

The nexus of the abduction attempt according to the senior police officer was a business deal between two private firms that went wrong at the end of 2020. 

Police Lieutenant General Jiraphop explained that a firm calling itself The Collections Agency run by a lady named Ms Emily was appointed by one of the Americans, Mr Ziskin, to negotiate and procure rubber gloves from a firm known as Paddy The Room Trading Company Limited.

American lost ฿93 million in rubber gloves deal leading to plot to kidnap a Taiwanese man in March

The policeman explained that the US man, Mr Ziskin, was left out of pocket to the tune of ฿93 million when the proposed deal turned sour. 

He then approached a private investigation firm run by an Israeli national named Mr Michael Greenberg. Mr Greenberg’s firm had been established in Thailand in 2020.

At length, this led to the kidnapping and failed extortion attempt on Sunday, March 28th last when Taiwanese businessman, Mr Wen Yu Chung, was the target of a team of men assembled on the instructions of Mr Ziskin and with the assistance of Mr Greenberg.

Mr Chung was an associate of The Collections Agency.

A meeting was set up with Mr Chung at L’Oliva, a restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 36 on that day ostensibly with another customer seeking to buy another quantity of rubber gloves from Paddy The Room Trading Company Limited.

Israel private eye involved in the abduction and extortion attempt for the American businessman

At the meeting, Mr Chung was forcibly abducted by Mr Greenberg and a team of accomplices who placed him in handcuffs and removed him from the restaurant.

He was taken from there to another location on Soi 36 at NT Place.

A room at the building had been hired by the gang at a daily rate.

There he was confronted by members of the gang who threatened the Taiwanese man and physically assaulted him leading to injury. This led him to believe that he would be murdered. 

It has also been revealed that both Americans were former members of the American marine corps who had fought in the Gulf War and were highly trained fighters.

Mr Chung’s captors used his phone to call his boss Ms Emily who was told that if $2 million was not paid over to the gang, her representative would be killed.

A similar demand for $1 million was made to the man’s family.

Taiwanese man’s family and employer contacted police and embassy to report the incident

Following the calls to both Ms Emily and the victim’s family, they made contact with the Royal Thai Police to report the kidnapping and ransom demand. It is also reported that the Taiwanese embassy on Sathorn Road was involved.

After his encounter, a shaken Mr Chung was taken by the gang to another restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 24 known as Naimos where he had a meeting with Mr Ziskin. The victim was asked to sign a document which he refused to do.

He also claimed his captors suggested that they had influence with local police which did not impress Mr Chung.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s press conference, there was some controversy when it was suggested that the plot to kidnap the Taiwanese man involved a former police officer with a former force member warning that the case was a sensitive one with international dimensions.

Victim sought medical care after his release

The hostage was finally released and went directly to a hospital seeking treatment for the injuries inflicted on him during the ordeal. He then went to Thong Lor Police Station to report what had happened.

This resulted in a thorough police investigation which led, this week, to arrest warrants being issued for the gang and the apprehension of the three suspects who appeared at Saturday’s press conference.

The two Americans and the Thai man are being detained at Thong Lor Police Station and face legal prosecution before the courts while police are also seeking others involved in the kidnapping and extortion attempt.

It is reported that all three men deny the substance of the charges against them.

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Further reading:

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Former minister, at the centre of jailbreak reports, appears in court in Bangkok under tight security