ASIA


Afghanistan

13 September According to local government officials, the driver of two kidnapped Pakistani engineers was killed by the kidnappers in Jawzjan province. The driver’s body was found near Dasht-e-Lalil. The Pakistani engineers were working for a private construction company when they were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Shebarghan city two weeks earlier. Local officials are blaming anti-government militants for being responsible.

India

1 September Yug (8), the son of dentist, Dr. Mahesh Chandak, was kidnapped from outside his home at Wardhamanagar, Nagpur, as he returned home from school, by two men, one of whom had been sacked from his job in Dr. Chandak’s clinic. The boy was rendered unconscious with chloroform and taken away. He was later strangled, smothered and had his head smashed with stones before being buried in sand under pipes at Patansaongi about 30 kms from his home. The kidnappers called his father and demanded Rs. 10 crore (USD165,600) for his release. After negotiations, this was reduced to Rs. 5 crore (USD83,000) which was paid in Mumbai. After Dr. Chandak reported the incident to the police and explained his suspicion that the former employee might be involved, the police arrested the man who confessed to the crime. The boy’s body was found two days later.

8 September D Gopi Chettiar (54), the owner of an oil mill and also involved in the finance business, was rescued by police after being kidnapped from outside his home at Walajapet, Chennai, at around 8:00pm on 5 September. He had arrived home on his scooter when gunmen in a SUV pulled up and dragged him into the vehicle before driving away. Around three hours later, the kidnappers called the family with a ransom demand of Rs. 50 lakh (USD83,000). The victim’s brother alerted the police who initiated investigations that led to the victim being rescued and three of the seven man kidnapping gang being arrested. One of those arrested was an acquaintance of the victim.

8 September The Jnanabharathi police and Central Crime Branch police arrested a seven member gang of kidnappers in Ullala Upanagara, Bangalore. The gang had kidnapped Jalkiran (11) the son of Suresh Babu, a land developer, as he returned from school on the evening of 5 September. They contacted the victim’s family and demanded Rs.80 lakh (USD132,500) ransom. The police traced the kidnappers from a mobile telephone number. When the gang realised the police were on their trail, they dumped the victim and fled.

13 September Shivam Kumar (21), a BTech final year student of Hindustan college of science and technology, Agra, was kidnapped from the Mathura-Farah highway. On 15 September, his father who runs a printing press in Jhansi, was contacted by the kidnappers who demanded Rs. 5 crore (USD828,000) and threatened to kill the victim if the police were contacted. He informed the police and they are making investigations. The high ransom demand is unusual against a middle class family.

15 September Korubilli Damodhar (9) was rescued in a police operation during which two suspects were arrested. The victim had been kidnapped on 8 September when he went to a shop near his house in Chintalagraharam village, Pendurthi, Visakhapatnam, at around 8:30pm. The following day his father received a telephone call from a coin booth during which a ransom demand of Rs. 30 lakh (USD50,000) was made. A second call was made on 12 September instructing the victim’s father to collect a packet from a temple in Pendurthi. The packet contained a photograph of the victim. Police working on information identified that the boy was being held on a hill and mounted a rescue operation where they found the boy and two guards hiding under a bush.

19 September Kandan, who runs an agency that supplies printing machines, was kidnapped when he was forced into a car and driven away. The gang demanded a ransom of Rs. 50 lakh (USD82,800) but released the victim after a payment of Rs.2.5 lakh (USD4,140). The police arrested two men and are looking for a further two men.

21 September Four people were arrested in connection with the kidnapping of an unnamed paediatrician of Huzarabad. He had been kidnapped a few days earlier and the kidnappers demanded Rs. 30 lakh (USD47,700). He was released after promising to pay Rs. 10 lakh (USD16,000) but he only paid Rs. 7 lakh (USD11,600).The kidnappers threatened him if he did not pay the balance and he reported the matter to the police.

Pakistan

15 September Police officials said that terrorist organisations are involved in about 70% of the kidnappings for ransom in Karachi. In the remaining 30% of cases, mostly criminal gangs based in the rural areas of the province are involved. The officials claimed they had been successful in bringing about a major reduction in the number of cases. In addition, 90% of the cases that occurred last year were resolved with the rescue of the victim and no ransom payment. So far this year, there have been only four cases in which the victim has been released after a ransom payment. In all four cases the families had negotiated with the kidnappers without informing the police.

15 September Responding to a call from the Sindh Bar Council, the legal fraternity boycotted court proceedings and staged demonstrations to condemn the kidnapping of lawyer Ali Mutahir Shar. The victim was on his way to Bhit Shah from Khairpur with three friends when they were kidnapped.

20 September The body of Dr. Imdad Ali Soomro was found near Thermal Power House, Hyderabad. He was kidnapped three weeks earlier while returning from his Muslim Town clinic in Kotri taluka. Police sources reported that the kidnappers had demanded Rs. 20 million (USD200,000) for his release. The victim suffered from diabetes and hypertension and it is believed deteriorating health during his captivity may have caused his death. Four suspects including two police constables have been arrested.

26 September Police in Shehzad Town said they had arrested three men in connection with the kidnapping of Ali Aziz who was kidnapped on the outskirts of Islamabad on 12 September. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs.50 million (USD500,000). The victim was rescued during the operation.

27 September According to a report in the Daily Times, ten people, including women and young girls, were kidnapped in Lahore the previous Friday. The crime rate has risen alarmingly in all of the six police divisions. Sources belonging to the Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) stated that a majority of families decline to report cases to the police in order to stop them interfering in the release of victims.

FAR EAST


Malaysia

20 September Datuk Jalaluddin Ad Rahman, Sabah Police Commissioner, said intelligence from the Philippines authorities indicated that kidnapping groups were planning to kidnap tourists at resorts and also fish farm owners on the east coast. As a result, he was extending the 7:00pm to 5:00am curfew in the waters off Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau districts until 5 October.

Philippines

4 September The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that kidnapping for ransom cases had increased by 20% to 38 for the year to August. A senior representative of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said during a press briefing that the authorities would increase their intelligence and surveillance efforts against criminal syndicates in an attempt to halt the rise.

8 September A statement by the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group said that Martin Lico, the leader of the Bogart kidnap-for-ransom group operating in Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, had been arrested. Lino was implicated in a number of kidnap-for-ransom incidents in Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces including the kidnapping and murder of businessman Jose Saribong and his driver in Antipolo City in 2012. Over the period January to August 2014, PNP has recorded 19 kidnapping incidents in Metro Manila and has arrested 18 suspected kidnappers. Ransom demands have been relatively small with families asked to pay between P500,000 (USD11,500) and P5 million (USD115,000). Many families pay these ransoms without informing the police.

10 September A regional military spokesman said that Lailani Bernabe, a midwife, had been released by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants in Barbagay Danag, Sulu. The victim had been kidnapped in Barangay Linbug, Sulu, on 29 August while travelling to work. The spokesman said that there was no confirmation from units on the ground that a ransom had been paid. The authorities suspect Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Arod Wahing was responsible for the kidnapping. The group are still holding Elwold Horn, a Dutch citizen, and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, a Swiss, two photographers who were kidnapped in Tawi-Tawi in February 2012.

11 September There were reports of foreigners suffering extortion at the hands of officers from the Philippines National Police (PNP). Known incidents include:
1. A Korean businessman who has accused four Manila police officers of extorting P30,000 (USD700) in exchange for not filing trumped up charges against him.
2. Lin Han Zhang, a Chinese businessman, submitted a sworn affidavit that he was handcuffed by two police officers and forced to travel with them in their police car. The officers demanded P8 million (USD184,000) or he would be framed on drug charges. He managed to escape when the policemen parked in a vacant lot. The incident happened in Caloocan City.
3. Cho Yong Woo (36), a Korean tourist, told investigators that at least 10 police officers arrived after he had a fight with another Korean at a Korean restaurant in Emita, Manila. The two Koreans were told they would be taken to jail unless they paid P100,000 (USD2,300).

12 September The Zamboanga Sibugay province provincial police director said Li Pei Zhei (18), a Chinese who worked in a family run store, was kidnapped by four heavily armed men at around 6:25pm in the town of Kabasalan. The victim was dragged to a waiting minivan that then sped away. He was transferred to a motorised pump boat that was seen to head towards Lomono Island off the coast of Kabasalan. The kidnappers are believed to be from a notorious kidnapping for ransom gang led by Abu Musa. According to a police source, the modus operandi of the gang is to turn hostages over to the al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf militant group to guard the hostage while the gang negotiate a ransom payment which is split between the two groups.

14 September A recent spate of kidnapping incidents has caused alarm among the Chinese-Filipino community. It is estimated there have been seven cases in the last two months. In at least one case, police officers may have been involved. China has warned its citizens not to travel to the Philippines and called on the Filipino government to take all possible measures to protect Chinese nationals living in the country.

15 September Teresita Ang-See, a Filipino-Chinese businesswoman and founding chairman of the Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO), confirmed that there had been an upsurge in kidnappings in the country. MRPO statistics show that between January and August this year there were 33 reported kidnapping incidents involving 50 victims of who 17 were Filipino-Chinese. Of the 50 known victims, 29 have been freed, one escaped, three were rescued and one was killed. MRPO also recorded nine incidents in Metro Manila, 10 in the rest of Luzon and 14 in Viayas and Mindanao. Annual statistics show 2009 as the year with the highest number of reported incidents, 113, with 144 victims. It decreased in 2010 to 99 incidents and 128 victims, and further decreased in 2011 to 58 incidents and 78 victims. 2012 showed 41 incidents with 64 victims before a rise in 2013 to 46 incidents and 59 victims.

24 September Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda linked militant group in the south of the country, threatened to kill two Germans, a man, Stefan Okonek (70s), a doctor, and a woman, Henrike Dielen (mid 50s), who were kidnapped off a yacht between Borneo and the Philippines in April. They said that unless Germany stops supporting US action against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, they will kill the two Germans. The group have also demanded a ransom payment of 250 million pesos (USD5.6 million) for the release of the two hostages and threatened to behead one of the hostages if their demands are not met by 10 October. On 29 September a male hostage who identified himself as a “medical doctor”, told a radio station based in Zamboanga City that he hoped his government would do all they can to get them freed. A female hostage appealed to the German and Filipino governments to do all they could.

Taiwan

27 September The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) warned of a telephone fraud involving false kidnapping and extortion of ransom from victims. The CBI added that as a result of the recent kidnapping and murder of a local billionaire, there had been a rising number of telephone fraud cases. Victims have been receiving calls informing them that a family member has been kidnapped and instructing them to wire money immediately to a nominated bank account or else the hostage would be harmed. The scammers also play the sound of someone being beaten in the background.

Thailand

20 September Police in Vietnam arrested three Vietnamese accused of kidnapping compatriots for ransom in Thailand. The arrests followed the kidnapping of Tai Hua Hai (39), a fish vendor at Bang Yai City market, Nonthaburi province. The kidnappers contacted the victim’s wife and demanded 1.5 million baht (USD47,000) for his release. When she gave them only 100,000 baht (USD3,100) the gang cut of the victim’s right little finger and sent it to his wife with a threat to cut off his arm later. The police mounted a rescue operation and found the exhausted victim blindfolded and chained to a toilet in a deserted house.

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