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Friday, June 10, 2016

Donors anxious to know whereabouts of ransom money

Families of released hostages bombarded by calls from those wanting to know what happened to the funds they helped raised to free the victims.

The families of four Malaysians abducted and subsequently released by Abu Sayyaf militants are now under pressure to reveal what they did with the money others gave them to help pay for the men’s ransom.

The sister-in-law of one of the victims, Johnny Lau Jung Hien, 21, said the family had been bombarded with calls from people demanding to know what they had used the money for, after the police denied that a ransom had been paid to secure the release of the four.

According to the China Press, the woman, who only wanted to be known as Lim, said they understood the feelings of the well wishers who donated, and the family would provide an explanation as soon as possible.

According to her, the donors were from all over the country, with some even being foreigners.

Lau is the cousin of brothers Wong Teck Kang, 31, and Wong Teck Chi, 29, who were also abducted along with 34-year-old Wong Hung Sing, on April 1 by Abu Sayyaf militants. The four were released without harm on Tuesday.

The families had turned to the public to raise the RM30 million ransom (which was subsequently lowered to RM18 m). The families even went on a drive to collect funds during campaigning for the Sarawak election last month.

Lim and the grandparents of Lau were previously quoted saying they had surrendered the funds collected, to the police for their further action.

However, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar yesterday announced that no ransom had been paid for the release of the four. He also denied knowing the whereabouts of the money raised by the kin of the victims.

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