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Thai doctor kidnapped in Mali safely back home

A THAI doctor who was kidnapped in Mali and chained by his captors for over 25 days returned home today (Oct. 25) and burst into tears upon meeting his family at Suvarnabhumi airport, Amarin TV said.

Dr. Nopparat Ratanawara, or Doctor Song, a well-known surgeon, was released after payment of over 100 million CFA franc (around 5.7 million baht) to the kidnappers.

He flew in from Abu Dhabi aboard Etihad Airways flight number EY402 that touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 7.36 a.m.

He was smiling slightly when he came out and as soon as he met his family he hugged them and started crying. He will now testify to the police about his ordeal with the Tourist Police at the airport being on hand to assist him.

He had already briefly told police that during his captivity for over 25 days he was chained and thought he would not survive to return home.

On Sept. 12 Dr. Nopparat had shared a photo of himself on an airplane with the accompanying message saying, “Doctor Song travels the world! A new trip is about to start. Three weeks, nine countries  Sept. 12 – Oct. 3. 2022. Please stay tuned and let’s travel together: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.”

Usually during his trips Dr. Nopparat continuously updates his followers via his personal Instagram account about where he is and what he is doing.

He had posted photos of himself in Afghanistan and on Sept. 22 shared a video clip of himself boarding a plane at the Afghan airport to fly out. 

On Sept. 28 he posted a message that he was going to the border of Mali and then heading for the west African country’s capital Bamako. 

However there were no updates after that leading to his family, friends and fan club worrying about his safety.

On Oct. 24 he posted a message on his Facebook page saying he was now safe and was preparing to fly back to Thailand while thanking everyone for their concern and encouragement.


Dr. Nopparat hugging his family and weeping upon meeting them at Suvarnabhumi Airport after his arrival this morning, Oct. 25, 2022. Top photo: Amarin TV, all others Matichon

Also read: Kidnapped protest guard safe after being released

Kidnapped Chinese businesswoman rescued, gang arrested

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