French Woman Arrested Over Alleged THB 200M Ransom Plot

A French woman was taken into custody at a Bangkok hotel for allegedly plotting to kidnap the daughter of a distinguished Thai businesswoman, demanding a ransom of 200 million baht.

Sandra Christina Marie Diersten, aged 45, was apprehended at a hotel in the Silom district of Bang Rak around 10pm on Thursday.

She was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court on April 5, on charges of illegal assembly.

Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thumsuthee, an investigative commander with the Metropolitan Police Bureau, reported that the arrest resulted from a complaint lodged by a renowned businesswoman at the Thong Lor police station.

The complaint detailed a conspiracy by a group of foreign nationals to kidnap her seven-year-old daughter, demanding a 200-million-baht ransom.

The plot was uncovered when a member of the group had a change of heart and informed the businesswoman, prompting a police investigation that led to Ms. Diersten’s arrest warrant as the alleged gang leader.

On Thursday, Pol Maj Gen Theeradet and his team tracked down Ms. Diersten. They discovered her at a hotel in Silom, accompanied by a Lebanese man, leading to her detention.

During her arrest on Thursday, Sandra Christina Marie Diersten was seen consulting with her lawyer in German via a mobile phone.

During her interrogation, Ms. Diersten refuted all allegations. She claimed to be a businesswoman who was tricked into making a substantial investment with an Australian man, the spouse of the wealthy Thai businesswoman.

Ms. Diersten alleged that after investing around 185 million baht, she was defrauded by the Australian. She claimed he used the accusation of kidnapping as a ploy to avoid settling his financial obligations.

She explained to the officers that her decision not to report her entry into Thailand was due to concerns for her safety.

Ms. Diersten also mentioned that she had met the Lebanese man in Dubai prior to their stay together at the hotel. She was then transferred to Thong Lor police station.

Despite her claims, Pol Maj Gen Theeradet expressed skepticism regarding her story, noting that the police had gathered significant evidence implicating her.