By Kristine Joy V. Patag

Suspected kidnap-for-ransom group members arrested

Posted on July 20, 2017

OPERATIVES OF the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have rounded up a total of 45 foreign nationals believed to be part of a kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group targeting casino high rollers.

Justice Undersecretary Erickson H. Balmes, in a message sent to reporters yesterday, said the joint operation led to the rescue of a female Singaporean identified as Wu Yan. Citing a spot report from the BI, Mr. Balmes said Ms. Yan was forcibly taken by three male and one female at Solaire Resort and Casino, Pasay City.

Ms. Yan was subsequently brought to Rm. 301 of Bayview International Towers, Pasay City, where she was held captive, beaten, and threatened by her kidnappers who demanded $180,000 for her release.

During the initial operation, 26 foreign nationals were apprehended by the authorities. The 26 failed to present any immigration record and refused to reveal their identities.

However, Ms. Yan positively identified three of the 26 as her kidnappers. They were identified as Malaysian nationals Ng Yu Meng and Goh Kok Keong, and Chinese national Zhang Fuxing, alleged leader of the KFR group.

The authorities conducted a follow up operation that led to the arrest of 19 more foreign nationals, also suspected to be part of the criminal group.

Mr. Balmes said all the 45 arrested were brought to the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group Headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

”Two officers from the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China and Chinese Interpol assisted in the investigation and also served as translators,” Mr. Balmes added.