Malaysia detains Aussie actress

KUALA LUMPUR • An Australian actress is being detained by Malaysian police for allegedly kidnapping her son while he was with her separated partner at a restaurant earlier this month.

Ms Eliza Szonert was detained late on Monday and the authorities are currently trying to establish the whereabouts of the boy, Kuala Lumpur police chief Tajuddin Md Isa told Agence France-Presse yesterday .

"We will need her to assist in investigations to find out where the son is and we need to find out about the son's safety," he said.

Brickfields OCPD Assistant Commissioner Sharul Othman Mansor said Ms Szonert was being investigated under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine a person.

"We are also investigating her under Section 339 of the Penal Code for wrongfully restraining a person," he added.

Ms Szonert, who had acted in popular Australian TV soap opera Neighbours, is expected to be held in police detention at least until tomorrow, according to the police.

The actress is alleged to have abducted her son from his father, Mr Ashley Crick, a businessman who is now based in Malaysia, at a restaurant in a popular mall in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 10.

Various media reports said she had gone to the restaurant with two men from an agency called Child Recovery Australia.

She and her son then went missing as Malaysian police started looking for her after Mr Crick filed a police report.

Local media said she had gone to a police station on Monday to be interviewed by police.

A spokesman from Child Recovery Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald she was detained after she refused to reveal her son's whereabouts to the police.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Malaysia detains Aussie actress'. Print Edition | Subscribe