Bangkok police urgently search for Ms Lu Xinlei , 27 after her father in Shanghai received a shocking ฿25 million ransom demand for her safe return. She was last seen leaving her hotel alone on Friday afternoon.

Bangkok police are searching for a Chinese tourist who was the subject of a ransom demand on Friday. At 6 pm, her father in Shanghai received a demand for ฿25 million for the safe return of his 27-year-old daughter. Ms Lu Xinlei , 27 years old, arrived in Thailand with friends on Wednesday.

27-year-old Lu Xinlei left her hotel in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road area on Friday at 3:11 pm. Less than 3 hours later, her father in Shanghai received a ฿25 million ransom demand on the popular Chinese app WeChat. (Source: Metropolitan Police Bureau, Bangkok).

Police in Bangkok are investigating reports that a 27-year-old Chinese woman from Shanghai may have gone missing.

In brief, the alarm was raised on Friday at 7:30 pm when a Chinese interpreter contacted Phra Khanong Police Station.

The man, identified as ‘Mr Moo’, works with the Cycling Association and is known to national team coaches.

Missing Chinese woman lives in Shanghai and had just arrived in Thailand last Wednesday. She was visiting the kingdom as part of a group of 10 friends

At length, he was acting on behalf of the father of the Chinese woman. Ms Lu Xinlei arrived in Thailand on Wednesday, June 5th. She lives with her family in Shanghai.

In short, she was part of a group of approximately 10 friends who were visiting Thailand as tourists. The group were on a cycle tour of Thailand.

However, on Friday at approximately 6 pm, her father received a startling message on the Chinese WeChat app. It was a ransom demand. He was ordered to pay ¥5 million or about ฿25 million to secure the release of his daughter. The message said that payment of the amount would in turn secure her release back to Shanghai.

Afterwards, the shocked father scrambled to find a representative in Thailand. Subsequently, the report was filed with the central Bangkok police station at 7:30 pm.

27 year old woman moved hotel from the Phaya Thai District to Sukhumvit after her first night in the capital. Last seen in her hotel on Friday afternoon

Police were told that on her first night in Thailand, Ms Lu Xinlei stayed in the Phaya Thai District of the capital. This was at Room 1016 at the Evergreen Place Siam Hotel. Afterwards, she moved to the EmQuartier Hotel on Sukhumvit 58.

According to investigators springing into action, they first confirmed that the young woman had indeed checked into the hotel on Sukhumvit. Afterwards, staff at the EmQuartier Hotel told police officers that the woman had left the hotel at 3:11 pm on Friday. 

Following up on this, investigators dispatched to the hotel viewed CCTV footage. In short, they confirmed that the woman left the hotel alone at 3:11 pm.

Flight booked in the woman’s name to Singapore

In the meantime, some hours later, the police were informed by Mr Moo that the father had made another discovery. A ticket on a flight to Singapore had been reserved in his daughter’s name. This was for flight TR 617 scheduled to depart later at 8:25 p.m.

After that, Thai authorities reported back that it appeared that Ms Lu Xinlei had not left the country.

An urgent investigation is ongoing as Bangkok police try to locate the missing woman.

Significantly, officers are now seeking to meet the interpreter ‘Mr Moo’ who has only contacted them by phone. At length, they seek to verify his status in Thailand despite his verbal introduction. Mr Moo has refused to reveal his real identity to police.

Certainly, officers underline that a kidnapping or criminal act has not yet been confirmed. At the same time, they are working on the assumption that the reporter is true. Therefore investigators are anxious to track down the whereabouts of the Chinese tourist.

In the meantime, the kidnapping and ransoming of Chinese nationals has become a police challenge for Thailand as the number of Chinese tourists rises again.

In the first five months of 2024, the kingdom welcomed 2.91 million tourists from China. Indeed, China topped the table as the source of foreign tourists among 15 million visitors for the period.

In May, five Chinese tourists were abducted from their hotel in Bangkok by a gang purporting to be Thai police. Two serving officers were later arrested

In the most recent case, five Chinese tourists were kidnapped by a gang in an elaborate plot to extort ฿2.5 million. Certainly, that involved an elaborate conspiracy with no less than 11 people implicated.

Police arrest Chinese kidnapper with similar details to an abduction for ransom case in April
Crackdown on crime wave against Chinese tourists in Bangkok as concerns also raised on cannabis
Chinese tourists arrested on kidnapping and extortion charges insist they are innocent 

At length, ten of these were subsequently arrested by police.

They included two serving police officers and a former policeman. In addition, Chinese nationals acted as facilitators of the crime.

The five Chinese were abducted from a hotel in the Din Daeng area of the city in early May by a gang pretending to be police officers.

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Further reading:

Police arrest Chinese kidnapper with similar details to an abduction for ransom case in April

New visa-free regime plan for Chinese tourists will see more criminal elements entering Thailand

Crackdown on crime wave against Chinese tourists in Bangkok as concerns also raised on cannabis

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