Police in Bangkok have arrested five Vietnamese, including two teenage boys and a woman, on charges of kidnapping another Vietnamese for the purpose of blackmailing his family.
Tran Van Tien, 24, was kidnapped early on Sunday, his capturers demanding 100,000 baht ($3,170), after having stolen 10,000 baht from Tien's apartment, said his sister Nguyen Thi Thai who received the kidnappers' phone calls.
Thai said she and Tien work together at a restaurant in Bangkok and that she had stayed late on Saturday night, returning to their apartment at 3 a.m. on Sunday, immediately realizing it had been burglarized.
Tien was not there, nor was his bicycle. His slippers were found several hundred meters from the apartment, she said.
The kidnappers called threatening to kill Tien. Thai borrowed 20,000 baht ($633), transferring the funds via an ATM to a bank account they provided. Then she told the police, who rescued Tien several hours later from a guesthouse just outside Bangkok.
The kidnappers have been identified as Le Dang Tho, 28, Ngo Tri Tuan, 23, Bui Van Hai and Dao Xuan Nghia, both 19, and Phan Thi Hien, 30.
Police said the five have been traveling back and forth between Vietnam and Thailand for more than a year.
Thai said she does not know the kidnappers but suspected that someone who know her and Tien were involved in the kidnapping.
The woman moved to Thailand to work four years ago and last year her brother joined her. They had just returned to Thailand two months ago after visiting their family's home in north central Vietnam's Ha Tinh Province.
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