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Edmonton man being held against his will in Thailand, family says

Edmonton man being held against his will in Thailand, family says
From Global News - January 12, 2018

Friends of a 25-year-old Edmonton man are fearful for his well-being, after he made multiple emergency calls to them from Thailand.

Shawn Johnson reportedly told them he was being held in a basement there by men who looked like police.

Johnsons best friend of five years, Andy Vinoly, said Johnsons call woke her in the middle of the night Jan. 9.

He said, They said if I dont get them $3,000 within the next three hours that Ill be sent to jail. Then when his sister talked to him, they changed the number to $5,000.

Vinoly said Johnsons sister mentioned calling the Canadian embassy and it angered the men.

They said the option to pay them is off the table now. He would have a trial in 48 hours and we wouldnt hear from him until then. The 48 hours went by and we still didnt hear anything from him, Vinoly explained.

We couldnt believe that in any way this would be cops. Because it doesnt make any sense to us, explained another friend, Zoriana Shewchuk.

Johnson left Edmonton for a vacation in Thailand on Jan. 4. The calls came in at around 4 a.m. MST on Jan. 9it would have been 6 p.m. in Bangkok.

Theyd arrested him and were charging him with having weed on him, Vinoly said. The thing is we dont actually think he wouldve had that on him.

In a statement, Global Affairs Canada said it cannot comment on details of the case due to privacy laws, but did say: Global Affairs Canada is aware of the arrest of a Canadian citizen in Thailand and consular officials are in contact with local authorities, the individual and the family.

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