Viral video allegedly shows abduction of Malaysian pastor

Screen grab of the video (top) purporting to show Mr Koh (above) being boxed in on the road.
Screen grab of the video (above) purporting to show Mr Koh being boxed in on the road.
Screen grab of the video (top) purporting to show Mr Koh (above) being boxed in on the road.
Screen grab of the video purporting to show Mr Koh (above) being boxed in on the road.

PETALING JAYA • The abduction of Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo three weeks ago took only 40 seconds and appeared professionally executed, if a video currently going viral on social media is to be believed.

The footage appears to show Mr Koh, 62, being abducted from his car in broad daylight after it was blocked and forced to stop by two black four-wheel-drive trucks and a black sport utility vehicle (SUV).

In the video, the three vehicles overtake and surround a silver car - believed to be Mr Koh's - forcing it to make a sudden stop along the street.

One vehicle stops in front, one behind, and a third at its side. A white sedan then stops behind the convoy.

Several people emerge from the vehicles and head for the silver car, while a man from the white sedan moves towards them.

Seconds later, all the vehicles drive off, including the pastor's car.

The video, which has been handed over to the police, does not contain any audio and is believed to have been shot from houses near the site of the abduction, in Kelana Jaya, a bustling suburb in Selangor state.

Police are checking its authenticity.

Mr Koh, 62, was driving alone in his Honda Accord to a friend's house at about 10am on Feb 13.

According to witnesses and closed-circuit television camera footage that surfaced a week after the incident, he was taken by at least five masked men.

Commenting on the earlier footage, Mr Koh's wife, Ms Susanna Liew Sow Yoke, 61, had said: "The abductors were masked. The abduction was professionally executed and it took less than 60 seconds."

No ransom demand has been made so far and Mr Koh's car remains missing.

The family have offered a RM100,000 (S$31,700) reward for his safe return.

Mr Koh was involved in church charity and community work with a group called Harapan Komuniti, which he founded more than 10 years ago.

In 2011, the group was accused by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department of preaching Christianity to Muslims.

On Sunday, hundreds of Malaysians held candlelight vigils in Selangor, Malacca and Johor to show their support for his family.

There was heavy police presence at the vigil in Shah Alam in Selangor after the crowd was prevented from gathering near the Selangor police headquarters.

People held placards that read "Where is Pastor Raymond" and "Let Raymond go".

In a statement, Selangor State Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh urged the Home Ministry and Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar to deploy adequate resources to solve Mr Koh's abduction for "the sanity of Pastor Raymond's family" and to reassure the anxious Malaysians awaiting news of his safety.

Police are still investigating.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline 'Viral video allegedly shows abduction of Malaysian pastor'. Print Edition | Subscribe