MiscSE Asia

The Attempted Kidnap of Charlie in Bangkok

posted by Stu 0 comments

I was in 2 minds whether to post this or not, conscious of the worry it might cause but I felt it necessary to explain the good with the bad.
When the kids and I walk I always hold Abi’s hand and Charlie walks either at the side of us or behind us with me constantly checking him. It is worth pointing out that we have used this method every time we have travelled in some of the busiest cities on the planet and not once had a major problem.
It was 7pm and almost dark, we were in Siam Sq which is central Bangkok. We were on probably the quietest part of the square and we started to walk up some steps. Charlie shouts dad loudly but doesn’t get to speak it all since his voice was muted. I spin round and see him being dragged into a tuk tuk by a Thai male. I grab Charlie with one hand and hit the man in the head with my elbow as I tried to free Charlie, it worked and I had him. A couple of local Thais had become aware of what was happening and were questioning the guy. As they did this I knew there was a traffic police stop about 50m away, I carried Abi and held Charlie’s hand as we legged it across the roads which were heaving with traffic.
When inside the Police box I explained what had happened and that I could still see the tuk tuk. They refused to do anything. They told me go to the police station and file a report. I told them that the guy was still there stuck in traffic surely they should run and get him. They were actually laughing as I tried as the best I could to tell them what happened, I was even using Charlie to show them what the guy did. They just kept telling me to go and file a report. I could see the tuk tuk getting further away but still stuck in traffic and so I left the kids in the police box and ran across the road to get a photo of the tuk tuk and the plate number which I should have got before but didn’t, don’t ask me why but with everything going on I just wanted to get the police and forgot.
It was a nightmare trying to get back across the road and by the time I did he was gone. But I saw a guy who was one that was talking to him afterwards, he said he used that area frequently as a tuk tuk driver and that he had fled.
I went back to the police and they would not do a thing. They wouldn’t even let me phone the emergency line. So I asked if they could take me to the police station and they said I had to get a taxi.
I left and returned to the hotel only about 500m away and told the manager what had happened. She phoned the police for me and explained what had happened. As she put the phone down she told me that they said I should go and file a report tomorrow. She said that she would go with me to translate.
This morning we set off to go file a police report. But before we did we went back to where the incident happened and was stood looking down from the sky train platform overhead. I saw the guy, I took some photos of him and got his tuk tuk number. We went to the police station and filed a report and I have to commend the police. There was great concern and the police assured me that they would investigate this thoroughly, I was given a copy of the report and told to register with my embassy in Bangkok. Any further communication between the police and me would go via the embassy and I will also be told the outcome. But I have to say the police were really concerned and really did seem like they cared so I can’t fault them.
For obvious reasons I can’t post details of the driver until the case comes to a conclusion. But rest assured if he does get found guilty I will stick a photo of him and every single detail I have on this blog at a later date so he can be named and shamed for the type of individual he is.
I contacted the British Embassy in Bangkok and they were fantastic and very helpful, they will now liaise with the Bangkok police and will send the details back to the Embassy in London who will keep in touch with us as we leave Thailand. I was assured that what happened is not common at all and really is isolated. So whilst it has certainly shaken us up a little hopefully we can put it behind us and continue with our trip trouble free. That said it has really reminded me that when travelling with kids you have to be completely aware at all times.

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