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Korean tourist found in abandoned plastic barrel by Thai authorities
2024-05-15
The body of a 34-year-old Korean man who went missing earlier this month was found in a black plastic barrel in a reservoir in Pattaya, Thailand, on Saturday.  
 
Thai police authorities ordered an investigation into three suspects over the kidnapping and murder of the Korean tourist, surnamed Roh, who reportedly went missing in Bangkok on May 7, according to the Korean Embassy in Thailand and local media outlets on Sunday.  
 
According to Thai media reports, Roh entered Thailand for travel proposes on April 30.  
 
His mother received a threatening phone call on May 7 demanding a ransom of 3 million Thai baht ($82,970), or about 112 million won. The blackmailer reportedly told the mother that Roh had caused them great losses by "throwing away drugs" and told her to come up with the ransom or else her son would "lose his life."  
 
The kidnappers reportedly threatened to dismember Roh and sell his organs on the black market if the money was not paid by May 8.  
 
The mother immediately reported the situation to the Korean embassy in Thailand, who then requested cooperation from Thai police.
 
Roh reportedly had a Thai wife who said she last saw Roh on May 2 at a pub in the Royal City Avenue area of Bangkok, reported The Pattaya News, a Thai media outlet, on Sunday.  
 
Police reportedly checked CCTV footage and found that Roh was escorted by two men into a rented car heading towards Pattaya at around 2 a.m. on May 3. They changed their vehicle to a new rented pickup truck and headed to a rented accommodation near the Mabprachan reservoir in Pattaya.  
 
On the evening of May 4, the pickup truck was reportedly seen driving out of the lodging with a black cloth cover and a black object in its back. CCTV footage showed the men taking the vehicle to buy a black plastic barrel and rope at a nearby store.

Police later traced the pickup truck to where it was parked near the Mabprachan reservoir. The kidnappers were suspected to have abandoned the barrel holding Roh's body in the water.
 
Police sent divers into the reservoir and eventually discovered Roh's suspected body in the plastic barrel filled with cement.
 
Local authorities are conducting an autopsy to determine the exact cause of his death.  
 
Thai police identified three suspects, believed to be Koreans. One of them fled Thailand on Thursday, while the other two are still being tracked.  
 
A Korean Foreign Ministry official said that the embassy in Thailand has been providing necessary consular assistance since becoming aware of the incident.  
 
The embassy is also providing support to the victim's family and has requested a quick and thorough investigation from local police.  
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