'Headless body of Malaysian hostage' found in Philippines

KOTA KINABALU • A headless body believed to be that of slain Malaysian hostage Bernard Then Ted Fen was recovered in the Philippines' Jolo Island and has been sent to Zamboanga City for DNA identification.

"The Philippine authorities are coordinating with the Malaysian Embassy in Manila," Southern Philippines anti-kidnapping activist Octavio Dinampo said.

He said the body had been taken to a mortuary in Zamboanga City where a head believed to be that of Mr Then was recovered soon after his beheading at the hands of his Abu Sayyaf captors on Nov 11.

Professor Dinampo said the leader of the Abu Sayyaf gunmen, Al Habsi Misaya, had even demanded a 10 million peso (S$297,000) payment for information on where Mr Then's body had been buried but this was ignored by the Philippine authorities.

Soldiers from the Philippines' 501st Infantry Brigade recovered the body at Sitio Lungon-lungon at Parang in Jolo Island at about 11pm on Monday.

Malaysian negotiators, with the help of Filipino emissaries, had worked round the clock to secure the release of the 39-year-old engineer and Ocean King seafood restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, since their kidnapping from Sandakan, Sabah, on May 15. Mr Thien was released on Nov 8 after an alleged ransom of about RM 3 million (S$979,000) was paid.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline ''Headless body of Malaysian hostage' found in Philippines'. Print Edition | Subscribe