Police are questioning a 20-year-old man alleged to have abducted a 12-year-old girl who was rescued on Friday after an intervention by a well-known internet whistleblower.
Guntouch Pongpaiboonwet sought the help of police in Rayong to track down the missing girl at the request of her mother, who feared she might have been a victim of human trafficking or sexual assault.
The mother, whose name was withheld, has lodged a complaint with the Bang Na police against the man, whom her daughter had met online.
Mr Guntouch said the mother told him she had seen a mobile chat history between her daughter and the suspect.
During the chat, the man invited and pressured the girl to meet him after they had exchanged messages online for three or four months. It is not clear if he knew the girl’s age.
Security camera video showed the girl asking the owner of the apartment where she lived to give her a lift to the Ekamai Bus Terminal on Wednesday, telling him that she was travelling to see relatives in Rayong.
The girl had left her mobile phone in the apartment and was not reachable online, her mother said.
Mr Guntouch said the man’s mother contacted the mother of the victim on Friday morning. She offered compensation in exchange for not publicising the case.
Even though the suspect’s mother claimed she was unaware of her son’s whereabouts, she let slip during the call that her son and the girl had left for a hotel, according to Mr Guntouch.
Police said that initially, officers would charge the suspect with child abduction, while the victim would be questioned by specialists.