Three Vietnamese men were taken into Thai custody for allegedly kidnapping a Vietnamese expatriate and chopping off his finger in an unsuccessful attempt to extort Bt1.5 million (US$46,513) from his family.
The victim, a Vietnamese national, told Thanh Nien newspaper he was tortured throughout his ordeal.
Thai Huu Hai, 39, a fish merchant at a local market in Nonthaburi province (outside Bangkok) said he was preparing to ride his bike to the market when he was suddenly attacked by two strange men at around 10 p.m. on September 12.
The men took all of Hai's money, around 100,000 baht (US$3,100), covered his face and thrust him into a car.
The kidnappers then called his brother and demanded a Bt1.3 million ransom and Bt100,000 up front.
Days later, they asked Hai’s brother to send them another Bt500,000, but they said they didn't have the money.
The kidnappers then chopped Hai’s pinky off his right hand and mailed it their victim’s relatives.
After receiving the gruesome package, Hai's wife contacted police.
“They put a sharp knife onto my little finger, then smashed a hammer down on the blade to sever it from my hand,” the victim told Thanh Nien News after he was rescued by Thai police.
The suspects were arrested after they jumped into the sea from a Pattaya pier in a bid to escape the officers pursuing them late Friday night.
Police used boats to capture them.
Thai police held a press conference Saturday (September 20) to announce the arrests of Nguyen Tan Hai, 27, Long, 28, and Niam (perhaps Nam), 28.
Acting Chief of Provincial Police Region 1, Major-General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said arrest warrants had been issued for the three suspects for crimes allegedly committed earlier this month.
"We will also go after their two Vietnamese accomplices who are still on the run," he said.
The alleged accomplices have been identified as Thong Sin, also known as Sornram, 30, and Nguyen Tien Lap, 25.
Police quickly tracked the kidnappers to a deserted house in Pathum Thani. Hai was found chained in a bathroom with wounds all over his body. The kidnappers were not there.
Police then learned that at least three of the kidnappers were in Chon Buri and arrested them.
"Some of the five suspects also kidnapped an eight-year-old Vietnamese boy from Ayutthaya for a Bt 80,000 ($2,480) ransom in May," Srivara said.
The three suspects in police detention allegedly said they had targeted Hall based on a scheme hatched by Thong Sin, who promised to pay them Bt10,000 ($310) each.
Nguyen Tien Lap was allegedly the man who cut off Hai's finger.
The trio has been charged with kidnapping an adult, causing serious harm to their victim, and illegally detaining others.