Thai Man Held Hostage and Killed in Laos

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The Thai man's body was retrieved from the Mekong River in Muang District, Nakhon Phanom province, on Sunday. (Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)
The Thai man's body was retrieved from the Mekong River in Muang District, Nakhon Phanom province, on Sunday. (Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)

Authorities in Thailand say a body found tied, gagged, and floating in the Mekong River had been kidnapped and held for ransom in Laos.

Bangkok Post reports that a woman had identified the body, found partially decomposed on Sunday, as that of her son, Kingpai Khattiyanond.

The 35-year-old had left his home and moved to Nong Bua Ngam village in Si Wilai District, Bueng Kan Province, where he lived with his wife, Wilai Harapan, 52.

On 17 May Mr. Kingpai told his wife he would cross the border into Laos, but left his mobile phone with her.

The next day she received a phone call from an unidentified number, with a man’s voice telling her to pay one million baht to secure the release of Kingpai. She did not respond to the demand as she did not have the money to pay.

Upon hearing of the incident, Kingpai’s mother contacted police in Bueng Kan Province, however, Kingpai’s body was found soon after.

Police in Thailand are continuing to investigate.

The Mekong River separates Bueng Kan Province in Thailand from Bolikhamxay Province in Laos.