3 cops among 4 kidnapping suspects held

KOTA KINABALU: Three police personnel were among four people arrested by law enforcement personnel to facilitate investigation into an alleged kidnapping of a Filipina woman in Lahad Datu a week ago.

The two police corporals and a constable, aged between 26 and 33, and a 30-year-old local man, were detained by police in separate operations between 11.30am and 4.30pm on Monday. Sabah Crime Investigation Department chief Datuk Salehhudin Abdul Rahman said the operations to track down the suspects were mounted following the alleged kidnapping at Kampung Silam in Lahad Datu on January 6.

“The suspects, a policeman attached to the Lahad Datu police contingent, two General Operation Forces personnel and a civilian, have been remanded
to facilitate investigation under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961.

“They face the death penalty or life imprisonment, and whipping, if found guilty of the offence” he told a press conference at the state police headquarters in Kepayan, here yesterday.

The incident came to light following a police report lodged by the 45-year-old victim, an IMM13 card holder, who claimed to have been taken hostage by three armed masked men at her home in Kampung Silam, Lahad Datu around 10pm on Jan 6.

The suspects allegedly demanded ransom of RM50,000 for her freedom or they would kill her.

The victim allegedly managed to contact her relatives and raise the sum of money which was then placed at a road junction
near Kampung Silam the same day.

The victim was released around 1am the next morning.

Salehhudin said following the incident, a special task force was set up on Jan 11 which led to the arrest of the four suspects at different locations in Lahad Datu.

“Police also seized three firearms, namely two MP5 and an M16 that belong to the Royal Malaysian Police, a Ford Ranger four-wheel-drive vehicle, a Perodua Viva car, four cell phones, RM8,100 cash and the attires believed worn by the suspects during the kidnapping,” he said, adding that police were still investigating the motive behind the incident.

Sallehhudin also said from April 1 to end 2015, Sabah police had detained 44 individuals for kidnapping, gambling and human trafficking.

He said the crime index in Sabah had dropped from 5,219 cases in 2014 to 5,176 cases in 2015 or a 0.82 percent drop.

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