Two US Marines – including a businessman who became a Forbes featured CEO after 12 years in prison for drug smuggling – have been arrested for the brazen broad daylight kidnapping of a Thai businessman from a restaurant.
The two Marines – Louis William Ziskin, 52, and Jeremy Hughes Manchester, 41, – were two of four people arrested by Thai law enforcement in connection with the $2.95million revenge ransom plot kidnapping which was captured on camera.
Surveillance footage from the Bangkok restaurant shows Taiwanese businessman Wen Yu Chung being grabbed by the throat and arms and dragged out of the L’Oliva restaurant in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 36, on March 28 as staff watched.
Four days ago, Thai law enforcement arrested Ziskin, Manchester, Thai cop Kristsnaporn Thapthawee and Thai man Prasit Narit for the kidnapping which was allegedly carried out over a PPE deal gone wrong.
William Ziskin, a former US Marine and Forbes-featured CEO, served 12 years in prison for the largest ecstasy bust in US history at the time. Above he’s pictured being arrested by Thai law enforcement for being involved in an alleged kidnapping scheme
Thai police escort American Jeremy Hughes Manchester after his arrest in Bangkok
Three other men join the melee, grab his arms and drag Chung outside
Ziskin is a father and seemingly turned his life around after his 12-year prison stint
In 2020, Ziskin bought nearly $3million in nitrile gloves from Paddy The Room Trading Company Limited, the Bangkok Post reported.
But gloves were poor quality, so Ziskin lost $2.95million dollars and wanted Chung, a representative of Paddy The Room Trading Company Limited, to give him back the money, but Chung refused, Thai law enforcement said.
Ziskin is accused of hiring Israeli detective Michael Greenberg, who allegedly came up with the abduction and ransom plot, Bangkok post reported.
The suspects kidnapped Chung and demanded $2.95million from Chung’s family and employer, who refused and called law enforcement, the foreign media outlet reported.
This allegedly pressured the group into eventually releasing the Taiwanese man at a hospital before they were arrested on May 15.
Video released by Thai law enforcement show several Thai officers in tactical gear outside of his hotel door demanding Ziskin open the door.
A translator was with the group yelling, “Just come out or we will break into your room. Please come out easily.”
The officers broke through the door, and the video picks up with Ziskin and translator talking in the hotel room.
Ziskin told the translator, “They know the system, and they use you guys (the police) every step of the way. They make crazy reports.”
Ziskin was taken downstairs in an elevator surrounded by several officers. The video picks up again with Manchester being escorted out in handcuffs by heavily armed Thai police office.
The two Marines and their alleged accomplices paid nearly $10,000 for bail, but have to wear ankle monitors and can’t leave Thailand.
Chung said a total of eight people were involved in the kidnapping – four remain at large.
Greenberg is one of the four who are still on the loose.
‘The others are still in hiding,’ according to Thai law enforcement.
The group was charged with racketeering, extortion, abduction for ransom, among others which they have denied.
On Ziskin’s website, he classifies his arrest and prison stay between 2000 and 2012 as ‘self reflection’
As a DropIn CEO and found, Ziskin became a motivational speaker. He is seen above in an Instagram photo
Ziskin gained notoriety after Forbes profiled the DropIn CEO and founder, who became a multi-millionaire just seven years after he was released from prison for drug smuggling – the largest ecstasy bust in history at the time.
On Ziskin’s website, he classifies his arrest and prison stay between 2000 and 2012 as ‘self reflection’.
In 1998, Ziskin started importing ecstasy from Europe – he was arrested in 2000.
Ziskin established himself as a major ecstasy importer in the LA area. Initially he flew to Europe carrying large amounts of cash, purchased ecstasy and then flew back to the U.S. with the drugs.
Throughout 1999, the United States Customs Service intercepted numerous Federal Express and DHL packages containing multi-kilogram amounts of ecstasy sent from European countries to various commercial mailbox centers in the Los Angeles area.
In late December 1999, the USCS intercepted three ecstasy-filled packages from France which were bound for LA.
Couriers for the packages were arrested and then turned to being informants and co-operating with the operation. Seven hundred pounds of ecstasy were seized from two storage units and more than $1 million cash on December 22, 1999.
Two Americans and two Thai men, including a police officer, were arrested
Manchester, 41, was arrested by Thai law enforcement in connection with the $2.95million revenge ransom plot kidnapping which was captured on camera
Ziskin was placed under survelliance for a year. During that time Ziskin continued to conduct his own trafficking operation using Federal Express shipments.
Ziskin sent cocaine to England and then withdrew the proceeds from an English bank to purchase ecstasy.
Federal authorities arrested him in December 2000 and he was initially jailed for 30 years.
Ziskin allegedly lost nearly $3million in a business deal and is accused of taking part in a kidnapping and ransom revenge scheme to get the money back
Ziskin is one of eight money allegedly part of the scheme and one of four to be arrested
However on appeal in 2003 the sentence was reduced and he was freed from prison in 2011 and ended parole in 2013 when he appeared to be turning his life around and became a Hollywood-based entrepreneur.
In the time between his release from prison and the alleged actions in Bangkok, Ziskin was a poster child for how prison can reform someone.
He became a frequent public speaker lecturing about anti-recidivism and addiction recovery. He also gives regularly to organizations that contribute to addiction education.
In 2018 he was featured in an article on Forbes’ website speaking about his firm DropIn – an on-demand video streaming platform enabling customers to use a network of smartphones and drones.
Born and raised in Los Angeles by divorced parents, Ziskin described himself in the Forbes profile as a ‘problem child.’
‘I was a mentally gifted minor who thought rules did not apply to me,’ he told Forbes in 2018.
He moved from school to school, finally going to and then dropping out of the University of Southern California.
DailyMail.com contacted DropIn and the US U.S. Embassy Bangkok for comment.
One man grabs Taiwanese businessman Wen Yu Chung by the throat
The suspects allegedly dragged Chung out of the Bangkok restaurant on March 28
The men were seen on the surveillance camera wrestling Chung to the ground after dragging him out of the Bangkok restaurant