Singaporean citizen Lee Wei Kim was taken into custody on Sunday by the Thailand police for allegedly abducting his colleague and taking bitcoin in ransom. The police recovered most of the ransom, worth THB1.4 million ($46,000) that was paid in bitcoin by Mark Cheng Jin Quan.
Cheng is accused of embezzlement in Singapore.
Mark Cheng was out on bail while he was kidnapped in Thailand. Cheng is accused of misappropriating more than $300,000 belonging to an investment company in 2014. Cheng is the co-founder of Avelife, a non-governmental organization that focuses on social enterprise and the environment, and he is the first Singaporean to win the Queen’s Young Leader Award in 2016 for his involvement in environmental initiatives.
Cheng was shocked to know who was behind his abduction.
Mark Cheng came to Thailand with his friend Kim Lee Yao who Mark had known through bitcoin dealings. When police revealed who was the main suspect behind the abduction, Mark was shocked. He said, “I didn’t expect my friend to be involved. I really don’t know who I can trust now.” Cheng revealed to police that he was abducted while they stopped at a petrol kiosk. He was then drugged and taken to four different places. He said that he was tortured by the kidnappers before he managed to escape.