The Foreign Ministry said that a doctor who known for posting travel videos to YouTube was taken captive for 25 days in Mali but is now safe.
Dr. Nopparat Rattanawaraha, commonly known as Mor Song and the host of the Mor Song Tong Loke YouTube channel, was freed on Monday after a US$150,000 (5.5 million baht) ransom was paid to the kidnappers, according to Tanee Sangrat, director-general of the Department of Information.
The YouTuber arrived in Mali on September 28, according to the ministry, and vanished a day later after losing communication with his personal local tour guide. The Thai embassy in Dakar, Senegal, was informed of Dr. Nopparat’s disappearance by his family.
Dr. Nopparat was discovered safe by local officials in the city of Kemparana 25 days after being kidnapped, the ministry reported, ending weeks of uncertainty. The ministry claims that Kemparana, which is close to the Burkina Faso border, had been penetrated by terrorists.
However, the kidnapping’s perpetrators were not identified by the ministry.
Mr. Tanee added that Dr. Nopparat, who posts travel-related videos on his YouTube channel, is getting ready to return to Thailand with assistance from the ministry.
In the meantime, Dr. Nopparat assured he was safe in an interview with Thairath TV.
The YouTuber claimed that while strolling down a Kemparana street, he was abducted. He claimed that while in detention, he was chained.
“I am currently safe. I apologise if I’ve caused anyone to worry,”said he.