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Yana Strizheus, 23, in a state of shock after her apprehension yesterday

Phuket 'Kidnap' an Extortion Bid by Russian Woman and Boyfriend, Says Phuket Police Commander

Monday, March 17, 2014
PHUKET: A Russian woman is under guard at a Phuket hospital around the clock to prevent her escaping after a ''kidnap'' was declared to be a simple attempt at extortion.

Phuket Police Commander Major General Ong-Art Phiwruangnont told a media conference today that he believed Yana Strizheus, 34, and her boyfriend, Alexei Slabinskiy, 39, concocted the story of a kidnap bid to extort money from Mr Slabinskiy's relatives in Russia.

Ms Strizheus was found at a Phuket hotel yesterday when staff discovered she had wounds to her neck and wrists.

Mr Slabinskiy has yet to be found. The commander believes he is still on Phuket.

The couple, who entered Thailand on visas to study the Thai language in August last year, shared a 60,000 baht a month villa in Kamala, according to the commander, and were ''working with property.''

Ms Strizheus was initially treated yesterday at Bangkok Hospital Phuket before being transferred to Vachria Phuket Hospital today with a police guard at her bedside to make sure she does not escape.

She allegedly called her boyfriend's relatives in Russia on March 7 to say the couple had been kidnapped and needed $100,000 urgently. She allegedly called again on March 13 to say that if the money was not sent, Mr Slabinskiy would be killed.

Relatives called the Tourist Police and yesterday staff at the Blue Garden Hotel in Cherng Talay reported that Ms Strizheus was in a distressed state in a room, together with empty whisky and beer bottles and damaged 100 baht Thai notes.

She was taken to hospital but failed to respond the questions and appeared to be in a state of shock.

''This is not a kidnap,'' the commander told the media conference today, ''and no Thai people were involved.''

The case is likely to trigger closer investigations of the issuing of student visas. The couple arrived in Phuket through Sadao Immigration checkpoint and had their education visas renewed on October 30.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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...since "dealing with property" is reserved for Thai nationals business area, and other previous media reports that the couple announced they faced troubles with enforcement agencies in that regard, I would not be surprised if "concocted" here means the same as notorious "misunderstanding" qualification of what happened ..

Posted by Sue on March 17, 2014 19:29

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and do they think the injuries are self inflicted? How do they know NO Thai people are involved? Wow he sure put it all together from a "victim" who failed to respond.

Posted by Vfaye on March 17, 2014 21:00

Editor Comment:

Kidnapping is a rarity in Thailand. The hotel staff would probably know whether others were holding the woman against her will. Normally, kidnappers make ransom demands, not victims.

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Hi Ed, you do realise you just used the words "probably & normally" as justification for your news/opinion piece.

Posted by Ty on March 18, 2014 05:59

Editor Comment:

Obscure and devoid of value right to the end, eh Ty? Goodbye, you waste of time, you.

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I was always on the lookout for quality tourists at the airport, but now I know they come via Sadao.

Posted by Charles on March 18, 2014 07:02

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What with this and the passports now we certainly have a Mafia on the island, just not a Thai one!!!

Posted by phuket madness on March 18, 2014 10:05

Editor Comment:

Does using the M word inappropriately solve Phuket's problems? Faking ''kidnaps'' and passport theft are not Cosa Nostra claims to fame.

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why not just deport them?

Posted by chris on March 19, 2014 02:29

Editor Comment:

Until all the facts are known, that might be a bit North-Korea-ish.

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ok, after "facts" are established that they were working with property, according to Phukrtan's report, then why not just deport them? Actually, North Korea rarely deports people for VISA violations. Usually if it is determined they are not there for their intended purpose, they are sent to labor camps.

Posted by chris on March 19, 2014 10:22

Editor Comment:

We don't make instant judgments based on reports of what the police commander thinks and we'd discourage readers from guesswork. It appears to be no normal ''kidnap'' but to discuss the penalty for a ''crime'' that has yet to be established is unfair. The answer is probably to not allow comments in future on cases like this.


Wednesday January 20, 2021
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