|Thor Halland - alleged to have posed as a Russian Mafia gangster.|
Thai immigration police arrested an expat in Thailand this week on charges of kidnapping, extortion, theft and threatening behaviour.
Thor Halland, 46, has a UK passport but is thought to be of Norwegian descent, was arrested after Pattaya Provincial Court issued two arrest warrants on 19th May 2015 in case numbers 230/2558 and 251/2558 following a report by French businessman Lauren Thierry.
Thierry reported to police that a gang of men led by a 'Russian Mafia' mobster called 'Dmitry' had kidnapped him and stole a number of items from his apartment, and then released him but continued to threaten him and forced him to pay more 'protection money'.
The 'Russian gang leader' called 'Dmitry' was later identified from CCTV footage as #ThorHalland.
In police statements, it is alleged Halland had posed as the head of a Russian Mafia gang and kidnapped Thierry with the intent to threaten and extort him.
Police examined CCTV footage and identified Halland, and a Russian man, Dennis Zabodaev, as being two of the 'gang'.
Following Pattaya Court issuing the arrest warrants Thierry says Pattaya police were unable to locate Halland or Zabodaev, and as a result engaged One Stop Legal Services to locate these dangerous offenders.
Pattaya Immigration office was supplied early this week with information from One Stop Legal Services which then allowed Police Colonel Prapansak, Superintendent of Pattaya Immigration, to arrest Halland and Zabodaev.
Two other Russian men, not named for legal reasons, still remain at large.
After the arrest, Halland and Zabodaev were sent to Pattaya Court on Thursday this week, where they were refused bail and remanded in custody prior to being sent to the Pattaya Special Remand Prison at Nong Palai.
While Halland and Zabodaev may appeal the decision of the Court to remand the pair in Court over concerns for witness safety, it is possible that both will remain in custody pending trial as the offences carry a potential custodial jail sentence of more than twenty years if the men are convicted at trial.
Police sources have described the crime as extremely amateurish, as both men made no attempt to conceal their identity and were easily identifiable from CCTV footage.