Phuket Provincial Police deputy commander Arun Klawwatin said much progress had been made in the case and investigators had concluded that the couple had been kidnapped by three foreigners, all Russian, who were also their friends.
Police were able to identify two of the suspects. One of them is Alexander Novichkov and the other was identified only as Andre, who holds a passport of a Ukrainian man named Olexander Boysyuk.
The pair were filmed by closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) when they took Yana Strizheus, 23, to check in at the Blue Garden Resort in tambon Choeng Thale of Thalang district last Friday night.
The fate of Ms Strizheus’s boyfriend, Alexei Slabinskiy, a 39-year-old property businessman, is not known.
Pol Col Arun said the three suspects were believed to have left Thailand to escape arrest, adding they would be charged initially with kidnapping and extortion.
“Ms Strizheus has given very useful information to investigators and we now know that the kidnapping is not a set-up but involves a conflict of which police cannot disclose further details because it will affect the investigation,” Pol Col Arun said.