Bangkok Post – French woman arrested for alleged B200m ransom plot

A French woman has been arrested at a hotel in Bangkok on suspicion of masterminding a plot to abduct the daughter of a prominent businesswoman in exchange for a 200-million-baht ransom.

Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) officers detained Sandra Christina Marie Diersten, 45, at a hotel in Silom area of Bang Rak district around 10pm on Thursday. She was wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court on April 5 on charges of illegal assembly.

Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thumsuthee, an investigative commander of the MPB, said on Friday that the arrest followed a complaint from a well-known businesswoman to officers at Thong Lor police station.

According to the complaint, a group of foreign nationals had conspired to abduct her seven-year-old daughter for a ransom of 200 million baht. The plan came to light after one of the alleged gang members had a change of heart and alerted the businesswoman. Police then launched an investigation that led to the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Ms Diersten, the alleged gang leader.

On Thursday, Pol Maj Gen Theeradet led police detectives to locate Ms Diersten. The detectives found that she was staying at a hotel in Silom with a Lebanese man, which led to her arrest.

During questioning, Ms Diersten denied all charges. She told the arresting team that she was a businesswoman who had allegedly been duped into investing with an Australian man, the husband of the wealthy Thai businesswoman. 

According to the suspect, she had invested about 185 million baht with the Australian, who had allegedly defrauded her. To avoid repaying his debts, the Australian then filed a police complaint to wrongly accuse her of trying to abduct his daughter, Ms Diersten claimed.

She told the officers that she refrained from reporting her entry into Thailand out of safety concerns. 

The suspect added that she met the Lebanese man in Dubai before staying together at the hotel. 

The woman was handed over to Thong Lor station.

Pol Maj Gen Theeradet said police were not convinced by her statements, and the officers have obtained substantial evidence against her.

SOURCE: Bangkokpost.com : Thailand   (go to source)
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