GEORGE TOWN – An Indonesian woman went through a harrowing ordeal when she was kidnapped, locked up and tortured by a group of men for 10 days in different locations across several states due to her husband’s failure to settle a RM540,000 debt.
Penang police chief Datuk Khaw Kok Chin said the 34-year-old victim from Medan, who was on a holiday trip with her three female friends here was kidnapped on Sept 7 in Paya Terubong.
“However, the suspects released the woman’s friends unharmed and the victim was taken to Butterworth where she was locked up. The suspects also kept the victim locked up in different locations to make it hard for the police to find her.
“The main suspect then asked for a ransom from the victim’s 47-year-old husband in Indonesia who then made two transactions totalling RM50,750.
“However, the suspects still did not release the victim and had asked for an additional payment of RM540,000 from the woman’s husband ,” he told a press conference here today.
Khaw said worried about her wife’s safety, the victim’s husband decided to come to Malaysia and lodged a police report at the Kinrara police station in Selangor on Sept 15, following which the Op Scorpion Rantai was launched to locate the woman.
He said the woman was rescued in a raid on a house in Shah Alam, Selangor at 5.15 am on Sept 17 and an investigation revealed that the victim was locked up for three days in Butterworth, four days in Puchong and three days in Shah Alam.
“During the raid, the police also rescued an Indonesian man who was also kidnapped by the suspects for an unrelated case,” he said.
According to Khaw, the victim was found with injuries all over her body and was believed to have been chained, burned with cigarettes, beaten, and had her fingernails shoved down with needles and her hands and feet bound with cable ties.
“When found, the victim was in a weak condition. However, the woman, who is an online trader, was fed by the suspects and is currently being treated at the hospital and reported to be in a stable condition,” he said.
Khaw said further investigation revealed that the main suspect was the victim’s husband’s business partner and that the kidnapping was motivated by the man’s failure to pay a business debt.
“Both of them (the main suspect and the victim’s husband) are contractors who run a business in Kuala Lumpur.
“The police also seized several items including 23 mobile phones, 36 cable ties, RM4,800 cash, a metal chain, and vehicles used by the suspects to transport the victim,” he added.
Khaw said the operation also led to the arrest of 14 individuals including the 35-year-old main suspect and two foreign men, in several locations in Selangor, Perak and Kuala Lumpur on the same day the victim was rescued.
The suspects have been remanded for seven days until Sept 23, and the case is being investigated under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961.- Bernama