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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Three cops, fishmonger nabbed over kidnapping of Filipino woman

LAHAD DATU - Three policemen and a civilian have been arrested for the kidnapping of a Filipino woman, who was freed after her relatives paid a RM50,000 ransom in Lahad Datu.

Sabah Police CID chief Datuk Sallehuddin Abdul Rahman said on Tuesday that the policemen - two General Operations Force (GOF) and a general duty personnel, and the civilian, all aged between 26 and 33 - were arrested at different locations on Monday.

He said the civilian was a fishmonger who lived in the same Kampung Silam village, from where the 45-year-old victim with IMM13 refugee status was taken.

Sallehuddin said they seized two police-issued MP5 sub-machine guns and an M16 rifle from the three security personnel.

He said police also seized a 4WD vehicle, a car, cash totalling RM8,100, four cell phones as well as the clothes used by the suspects during the Jan 6 abduction.

He added that they were investigating the case under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961 that provides for the death penalty or life imprisonment upon conviction.

Sallehuddin said all four suspects had been remanded further to assist in police investigations.

Soon after she was freed on Jan 7, the woman told police that three armed and masked men had come to her house at about 10pm on Wednesday asking for a  "Haji Yusuf".

Despite telling the trio that that it was not his house and she did not know "Haji Yusuf", the group grabbed the woman and bundled her into a white van with no number plates.

The gang drove her towards the forested and deserted Jalan Danum area where they said they were going to kill her if she did not raise RM50,000.

She told police that the gunmen provided a phone, which she used to call family members.

The woman's family and friends managed to raise RM50,000 and left it near the junction of the entrance to Kampung Silam, along the Lahad Datu-Tawau road, about 18km from Lahad Datu town.

Shortly after the money was picked up, the woman was released by her captors unharmed.

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