Singapore kidnap victims rescued in Penang
S'porean brothers kidnapped on business trip in Penang, four S'poreans including 3 women arrested
Two Singaporean brothers on a business trip in Penang, Malaysia, ended up getting kidnapped on Monday.
Several men pounced on the brothers as they left their hotel to go for dinner and the brothers tried to "put up a fight and were beaten up", Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported yesterday.
The brothers were then bundled into a car and held captive while their kidnappers called their family in Singapore and threatened to kill them unless a US$250,000 (S$350,000) ransom was paid for their safe return.
But the victims, whose father was reported to be a Singaporean businessman, were rescued unharmed from a Penang hotel in a joint operation by Malaysia and Singapore police on Wednesday.
Eight suspects have been arrested on both sides of the Causeway.
Malaysia's Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Mohamed Salleh told The New Paper yesterday evening that "four suspects were arrested in Penang in relation to the abduction of the two Singaporeans".
TNP understands that the four suspects, who are believed to be in their 30s, are Malaysians who worked odd jobs.
Singapore police also confirmed the incident in a press statement last night.
It said they received a call at about 10.55pm on Monday night informing them of an incident where a "29-year-old woman was contacted via an unknown Malaysian mobile phone number, demanding a ransom of US$250,000 to be paid for the release of her fiance, a 28-year-old Singaporean man".
Preliminary investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Police Intelligence Department (PID) revealed that the brothers, aged 27 and 28, had travelled to Penang on a business trip on Sunday.
Officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) immediately coordinated their efforts with the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to pursue all leads to locate the victims and the suspects.
In an operation on Wednesday, "officers from the RMP raided a hotel in Penang" where four Malaysian men were arrested and the two victims were rescued unharmed.
The brothers, who were held for about two days, were said to have been hidden in a budget hotel in Tanjung Tokong, north of the city of George Town.
The statement added that also on Wednesday, "SPF CID officers moved in and arrested four Singaporean suspects - one man and three women, aged between 26 and 54 - for their suspected involvement in a case of extortion".
Singapore police confirmed that no ransom money was paid to the kidnappers.
The Star reported that the victims were taken to Penang Hospital where they received outpatient treatment after the police interviewed them.
Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday that the "kidnappers had changed hotels" while holding their victims captive - taking them first to a hotel in Pulau Tikus, also north of George Town, before moving them to the budget hotel in Tanjung Tokong where the abductors were arrested.
The arrested Malaysians have been remanded for investigations under the Kidnapping Act 1961. If convicted under the Act, they face the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Three of the four arrested Singaporean suspects will be charged in court this morning with committing extortion with common intention.
If found guilty, they face up to five years' jail with caning.
Investigations into the remaining suspect, a woman, are ongoing.
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