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Former Marine jailed for biggest ecstasy bust in history part of kidnap and ransom plot in Bangkok

Two US Marines – including a businessman who became a Forbes featured CEO after 12 years in prison for drug smuggling – are accused of kidnapping a Thai businessman in a $2.95million revenge ransom plot. 

The two Marines – Louis William Ziskin and Jeremy Hughes Manchester – were two of four people arrested by Thai law enforcement in connection with a brazen, broad daylight kidnapping in a Bangkok restaurant on March 28 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 restaurant as staff watched.  

Three 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

Three other men join the melee, grab his arms and drag Chung outside

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

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 Chung refused to give him the money or replace the gloves, 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.

Everyone in the room was ordered to get on the ground when Thai law enforcement entered Ziskin's hotel room

Everyone in the room was ordered to get on the ground when Thai law enforcement entered Ziskin’s hotel room

This allegedly pressured the group into eventually releasing the Taiwanese man at a hospital before they were arrested on May 15. 

Ziskin and his alleged accomplices paid nearly $10,000 for bail, but have to wear ankle monitors and can’t leave Thailand, according to MSN.com 

Thai law enforcement said Chung identified eight people. Four were arrested 

Thai police escort one of the former Marines who was arrested

Thai police escort one of the former Marines who was arrested 

Two Americans and two Thai men, including a police officer, were arrested

Two Americans and two Thai men, including a police officer, were arrested

Ziskin gained notoriety after Forbes profiled the DropIn CEO and founder, who became a multi-millionaire by 2018, just seven years after he was released from prison for drug smuggling – the largest ecstasy bust in history at the time.so far. 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 denied. 

On Ziskin's website, he classifies his arrest and prison stay between 2000 and 2012 as 'self reflection'

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

As a DropIn CEO and found, Ziskin became a motivational speaker 

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 Los Angeles area, participating in and leading a large and sophisticated operation that imported the drug from sources in the Netherlands by way of other countries in Europe. 

Initially, Ziskin flew to Europe carrying large amounts of cash, purchased ecstasy and then flew back to the United States 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. 

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 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

Ziskin is one of eight money allegedly part of the scheme and one of four to be arrested

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. 

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 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.

He said: ‘My plan was to become one of the biggest media companies.’ 

DailyMail.com contacted DropIn and the US U.S. Embassy Bangkok for comment. 

One man grabs Taiwanese businessman Wen Yu Chung by the throat

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 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

The men were seen on the surveillance camera wrestling Chung to the ground after dragging him out of the Bangkok restaurant


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