Former U.S. Marine arrested in Thailand over $2.9m kidnap ransom plot


A former U.S. Marine was arrested in Thailand over an alleged three million dollar kidnap for ransom revenge plot.

The former American soldier Louis William Ziskin, 52, with the help of three other accomplices allegedly nabbed Taiwanese businessman Wen Yu Chung, 60, in broad daylight at a restaurant in Bangkok on March 28.

They were allegedly angry over a failed business deal in which Chung had sold them rubber gloves for 93 million baht (2.95m USD) which turned out to be poor quality.

Louis, together with fellow American Jeremy Hughes Manchester, 41, Thai cop Kritsnaporn Thapthawee, 59, and another Thai man Prasit Narit, 28, allegedly demanded money from Chung before he could be freed.

However, the businessman’s family refused to pay the vast three million dollar ransom and contacted local authorities for help. This allegedly pressured the group and released the Taiwanese at a hospital before they were arrested on May 15.

Police Lieutenant General Jiraphop Phuridet said Louis and his alleged accomplices paid 300,000 baht (9,526 USD) in bail but they will have to wear electronic monitoring bracelets to prevent them from fleeing the country.

He said: ‘Their lawyers successfully applied for bail. They should wear the bracelets at all times. They were also barred from leaving Thailand.

‘Chung’s boss who was also his mother didn’t want to follow their demands and contacted us to help them with the situation.

‘The abductors then left him at a hospital for medical treatment as he was physically assaulted. The Taiwanese later reported the situation to us.

‘He identified eight people but we arrested four of them so far. The others are still in hiding’

The group allegedly bought nitrile gloves for industrial use from Chung in December 2020 but lost 93 million baht (2.95m USD) after the businessman refused to provide replacements. They then set about hatching a revenge plot to recoup some of their losses.

An Israeli detective identified as Michael Greenberg hired by Louis allegedly planned the abduction but he was not arrested and police are reportedly still searching for him.

The group was charged with racketeering, extortion, abduction for ransom, among others which they denied.