OPERATIVES of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group rescued four Malaysian kidnap victims during a raid on a gambling den in San Pedro, Laguna on Saturday afternoon, it was reported yesterday.
Police initially arrested 17 Chinese but 10 of them were later released because further investigation indicated they had no participation in the kidnapping, according to AKG spokesman Maj. Ronaldo Lumactod.
Rescued were Hang Yi, Kho Soon Chiang, Cheam Chun Keat and Jonathan Ting Zhi Haw, who arrived in the country Friday last week supposedly to work as casino dealers.
Lumactod said the victims, upon arrival in the country, were brought by the suspects to a safehouse being used as an Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator hub in San Pablo and were not fed. He said the victims’ passports were also seized by the suspects.
Lumactod said one of the victims managed to call the Malaysian embassy in the Philippines and report their ordeal.
“Then the Malaysian embassy sought assistance from the Interpol (International Police),” he said.
Lumactod said the victims were able to contact their family to inform them about the ransom demand and their whereabouts.
“One of the victims already paid 960,000 Malaysian money (ringit) but he was not released because the suspects wanted the remaining three victims to also pay,” said Lumactod. One Malaysian ringit is equivalent to P12.21.
Based on information provided by Interpol, Lumactod said AKG personnel swooped down at the POGO hub in Chrysanthemum Village in Barangay Chrysanthemum in San Pedro at around 4 p.m. Saturday and rescued the victims.
Lumactod said AKG personnel arrested 17 Chinese during the raid but only seven of them turned out to be involved in the kidnapping.
“The 10 had not participation and were not implicated by the victims so we released them last night. We’re going to charge only seven with kidnapping,” he said.