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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Chinese Woman Found Safe After Ransom Scam in Bangkok

A 27-year-old Chinese woman, initially believed to have been kidnapped for a ransom of 25 million baht, was found safe on Saturday evening at a shopping mall in Bang Na district, Bangkok.

Lu Xinlei was discovered at HomePro Bangna and subsequently taken to the Phra Khanong police station. There, she was reunited with her mother and elder sister, who had traveled from China upon hearing news of her alleged abduction.

According to local media reports, Lu Xinlei, who works for a property company in Japan, fell victim to a scam operation. The perpetrators posed as Japanese authorities, falsely accusing her of violating anti-money laundering regulations. They coerced her into transferring 17 million yen for an “examination” and instructed her to travel to Thailand or Singapore, explicitly warning her against contacting her family in Shanghai.

Following these deceptive instructions, Lu Xinlei arrived in Thailand on the previous Wednesday. She was told to swap her SIM card to prevent tracking and to frequently change hotels to avoid detection.

The next day, Lu’s parents in China received a call from the scammers, claiming their daughter had been kidnapped and demanding a ransom of 5 million yuan, equivalent to approximately 25 million baht, for her release. The family reported this to the police with the assistance of a Chinese-language interpreter late on Friday.

After thorough investigation, the police concluded that neither Lu nor her family had been abducted. Instead, they had been manipulated through a chat application by the scam gang, who exploited their fear and confusion.

Officials stated that Lu Xinlei’s case highlights the increasing sophistication of scam operations targeting unsuspecting individuals. They emphasized the importance of verifying suspicious communications and urged the public to remain vigilant.

Local law enforcement and international authorities are now working together to track down the perpetrators behind the scam.

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