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At the centre of a kidnap claim, Ricardo Chain Pon Choosaneh and mother Sumetra

Phuket Boy in 'Kidnap from Europe' Drama

Friday, June 4, 2010
A BOY who was born on Phuket has become the centre of a heart-breaking international tug-of-war between his Thai mother and Dutch father amid accusations of kidnapping and concern for his welfare.

Eight-year-old Ricardo Chain Pon Choosaneh is alleged to have been taken last month by his Thai mother from the Netherlands, probably first to France then on to Thailand. A letter has since been sent by authorities in the Netherlands, requesting the help of the Attorney General's International Affairs Department in Bangkok.

The boy's mother, Sumetra Choosaneh, has relatives on Phuket and the boy's step-mother, Kimberley Ching-Yong, believes Phuket could well be where Ricardo is now.

''It's heart-breaking,'' she said by telephone from her home in Delft. ''I have been looking after Ricardo since he was nine months old, as though he was my own son. Now he has been taken away. We desperately want him back.''

Khun Sumetra requested permission earlier this year to visit her son in Delft. Ms Ching-Yong and Ricardo's father, Michael Roland van Alphen, 39, agreed to her making the visit.

''She arrived in the Netherlands from France on April 25,'' Ms Ching-Yong said. ''Four days later, they were both gone.'' The pair are known to have caught a flight from Paris to Thailand on May 3.

Having allowed the boy's biological mother to see her son, Ms Ching-Yong and Mr van Alphen are seeking Ricardo's return. ''Ricardo does not speak Thai or French, which are the languages the mother speaks,'' she says.

According to Ms Ching-Yong, Khun Sumetra, now aged 41, has She has dual Thai and French citizenship. She studied in her youth in Paris, met and married a Frechman, and had two children before she met Mr van Alphen.

''Ricardo was born during their short relationship,'' Ms Ching-Yong said.

''All those years she didn't take care of Ricardo, until the moment she announced to visit Ricardo in The Netherlands. I respected her being Ricardo's biological mother, who gave birth to him, so I invited her to be my guest in our home.''

Within days, the boy Ms Ching-Yong regards as her son had vanished. Ricardo has Thai and Dutch nationality, and his father has formal custody. After contacting Khun Sumetra's former husband in France, Ms Ching-Yong believes Ricardo and his mother are most likely on Phuket.

On May 18, Dutch authorities wrote to the Attorney-General's International Affairs Department in Bangkok, requesting that Thai authorities ''take appropriate measures to secure the return of the child.''
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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The Thai laws states that any man who was born in the Kingdom of Thailand, can have the Thai nationality. So, he is Thai and he has a right to stay with his mother, especially, Miss Choosaneh is his biological mother. He must be protected by his mother and Thai laws.

Posted by Charles BURANASINGHA on November 4, 2010 03:13

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Mister Charles BURANASINGHA I think you have your brain damaged! International law is higher than Thai law!

Posted by Kees Potje on March 8, 2011 15:41

Editor Comment:

Oh no, not another exclamation mark or two. Please, Kees. Enough.

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Sovereign law take precedence in domestic and family related issues in all signatories to the UN charter. There are no actual international laws that cover family disputes with the single exception of kidnapping and human trafficking.

Posted by Lloyd on March 8, 2011 16:42

Editor Comment:

Thanks for clarifying that, Lloyd.

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You give a very strange comment editor, in Holland it is common knowledge how Thai women deal with parentship. I don't know about the Dutchman/woman you want to sue, I don't know his/her messages, but i can only inform you that Dutch people speak freely cause they are used to do that. And if it happened from Holland you must do the sueing (if possible) for Dutch court!

Posted by Kees Potje on March 8, 2011 19:17

Editor Comment:

Oh, I'm sure you can tell just what everyone does from their national background, Kees. Fortunately, all Dutch aren't so narrow-minded. Most of your countrymen and women can tell the difference between speaking freely and libel, and they understand the concept of fairness.


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