Manhunt for Russian Tourist Kidnappers in Phuket

 | Thu 20 Mar 2014 08:12 ICT

CityNews – Phuket police are ready to issue an arrest warrant for two of three Russian kidnappers after one of the victims was asked to come up with 100,000 US Dollars in ransom. Police believe the other abductee was killed.Following the disappearance of two Russian tourists, Alexi Slabinski (39) and his girlfriend Yana Strezeus (28), since April 2013, the both of them contacted their relatives earlier this month to borrow $100,000. On March 13, Yana told her sister via telephone that they were kidnapped and would most likely be killed if no further contact was made. On March 17, she was found in a room at Blue Garden Resort and Spa in Phuket. She had a cut on her left hand, arm and neck.

After interviewing the victim, Police Colonel Arun Kaewatee, the Phuket Police Deputy Commander, confirmed that the victim and her boyfriend were kidnapped by three Russian nationals they met in Phuket. Alexi, who is a businessman, agreed to get into business with the would-be kidnappers. After a disagreement, he was threatened with kidnapping more than one occasion.

Both victims were then kidnapped from their rental home in Phuket and imprisoned in a nearby house. Alexi claims he was often tortured. The kidnappers forced Yana to contact relatives in Russia for $100,000 ransom with March 14th, 2014 being the deadline. Later, they took her to the Blue Garden Resort where they tortured and attempted to rape her. Police now believe Alexi was murdered.

Phuket police are now gathering evidence to present to court for arrest warrants for two of three kidnappers, André Smirnov and Alexander Novikov. They are investigating the identity and whereabouts of the third kidnapper. Police believe Yana is still hiding potentially vital information about the case.

See photo and story in Thai on the Daily News Regional and earlier update by Matichon Online.