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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lovebirds stage own kidnapping

SHAH ALAM: It was almost the perfect crime. Two lovebirds, fresh out of college, staged their own kidnapping to demand a RM1.48 million ransom.

The two were a law graduate and her Nigerian boyfriend, both in their 20s.

The Nigerian contacted the girl’s father, an accountant in Kuching, claiming to be the kidnapper. He demanded US$500,000 (RM1.48 million) for their release.

While police from four states were scrambling to rescue the “victims”, the two college sweethearts were living it up in luxury hotels in Langkawi and Penang.

Their ploy failed when police tracked the couple down to a hotel in Penang where they were arrested last Saturday.

The two later admitted to police that they needed the money as they wanted to go abroad.

The drama unfolded on Thursday when the woman’s family in Kuching received an anonymous call saying that their daughter and her boyfriend had been kidnapped.

The caller demanded a ransom for their release. The woman’s father lodged a report with Kuching police and a task force was set up, supervised by the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

Over the next two days, the “kid - napper” contacted the family several times, with police monitoring the calls. They also monitored the woman’s handphone and started getting suspicious when they noticed that calls were made from her handphone to hotels in Langkawi and Penang.

Police advised the family not to pay the ransom while they began looking deeper into the couple’s activities. A police party, which was sent to the hotel in Langkawi, discovered that a couple staying there had just checked out.

Another police team was sent to a hotel in Penang and the couple were spotted at the lobby near the lift area.

Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Mohd Adnan Abdullah said it was only then that police’s suspicions, that the kidnapping had been staged by the “victims”, were confirmed.

Investigations showed that the calls to the woman’s family were made by the Nigerian. The Nigerian had been in the country for the past two years and only recently started a relationship with the woman.

Both suspects are being held under remand. - NST

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