RM15m ran­som de­manded for house­wife

New Straits Times - - News -

KULAI: The kid­nap­pers of a 44-year-old house­wife in Kulai last month de­manded a S$5 mil­lion (RM15.8 mil­lion) ran­som be­fore they were nabbed.

This was re­vealed in the mag­is­trate’s court yes­ter­day when three Malaysian men and an In­done­sian man were charged with the ab­duc­tion and wrong­ful con­fine­ment for ran­som of the woman, who was res­cued in Batam, In­done­sia, 27 days af­ter she was kid­napped in Jo­hor.

Kulai district po­lice chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Razak Md Said said the woman was ab­ducted by four men at her home in Ban­dar Pu­tra here at 7.25pm on Feb 21.

“A few days af­ter the vic­tim was ab­ducted, her hus­band re­ceived a tele­phone call from the per­pe­tra­tors de­mand­ing a ran­som of S$5 mil­lion.

“The po­lice set up a spe­cial team com­pris­ing Jo­hor and Bukit Aman per­son­nel to res­cue the vic­tim.

“Af­ter ob­tain­ing in­tel­li­gence be­tween March 13 and March 19, sev­eral ar­rests were made by po­lice with the help of our In­done­sian coun­ter­parts.

“This led to the vic­tim be­ing res­cued on March 19 af­ter she had been held for more than 20 days in Batam, In­done­sia,” Razak said, adding that al­to­gether, nine men and four women were ar­rested by Malaysian po­lice while four men were held dur­ing the res­cue oper­a­tion in In­done­sia.

Yes­ter­day, Malaysians Beh Joo Siong, 31; Lee Fa Xian, 30; and, Soh Wei Lon, 35; and In­done­sian Agusti­nus Ratu, 39; nod­ded their heads to sig­nal they un­der­stood the charge read to them in front of mag­is­trate Azlan Bo­hari.

No pleas were recorded.

The four were jointly charged with three peo­ple still at large for wrong­fully con­fin­ing the woman at an empty semi-com­pleted house in Kam­pung Lepau, Pe­lan­tar, Pengerang, near Kota Tinggi.

They were charged un­der Sec­tion 3(1) of the Kid­nap­ping Act 1962 (Act 365) for ab­duc­tion, wrong­ful re­straint or wrong­ful con­fine­ment for ran­som, which was read with Sec­tion 34 of the Pe­nal Code.

If con­victed, the four men face death or life im­pris­on­ment and are li­able for whip­ping if they are not sen­tenced to death.

The court fixed April 26 for men­tion pend­ing the re­sults of DNA tests. No bail was of­fered to the four men.

PIC BY ZULKARNAIN AH­MAD TAJUDDIN

The four men charged with kid­nap­ping a 44-year-old house­wife at the mag­is­trate’s court in Kulai, Jo­hor, yes­ter­day.

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