By Aaron Recuenco
Anti-kidnapping operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have rescued four Malaysians in a raid on the safe house of their abductors in San Pedro, Laguna on Saturday.
Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group, said the abduction appears to be related to the operation of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGO where employees are being prevented from quitting their job.
He identified the rescued Malaysians as Tan Hang Yi, Kho Soon Chiang, Cheam Chun Keat, and Jonathan Ting Zhi Haw.
“The operation stemmed from a request for assistance to rescue four Malaysian citizens who were kidnapped, threatened, and being demanded money for their release,” said Estomo.
The request for assistance came from the International Police through the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime.
Estomo said his men immediately located the whereabouts of the victims at the Chrysanthemum Village in San Pedro.
“The teams were able to locate the safe house where the kidnap victims were being held which at the same time is also a POGO hub and swiftly conducted rescue operation which resulted in the safe release of the kidnap victims,” said Estomo.
It was then that the four Malaysians decided to quit and go back. But the suspects allegedly demanded money from them in exchange for their release.
“One of them even paid huge sum of money through his relatives in Malaysia,” Lumactod told the Manila Bulletin in an interview.
But relatives of the four Malaysians sought the assistance of the Malaysian government which in turn brought the issue to the Interpol. It was the Interpol which alerted the AKG of the kidnapping, which resulted in the rescue on February 14.
Lumactod said they are now readying the charges against the seven arrested Chinese.