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Woman, 79, who was kidnapped, is mother of Sheng Siong supermarket CEO

Published on Jan 9, 2014 4:46 PM
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A 79-year-old woman who was kidnapped on Wednesday is the mother of Sheng Siong supermarket chief executive Lim Hock Chee.

Mr Lim made it to the Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest list last year and was listed at number 35 with a net worth of US$515 million (S$654.3 million).

The elderly woman was said to have been kidnapped along Hougang Avenue 2 (not Hougang Avenue 8 as previously reported based on what the police said) on Wednesday.

The police arrested two men in connection with the case on Thursday, after her son lodged a report. The woman was not hurt when she was snatched by the two suspects, and was later released at Seletar West Camp after a $2 million ransom was paid.

After ensuring that the victim was safe, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Police Intelligence Department (PID) managed to track down the two suspects - aged 41 and 50.

They were arrested in the vicinity of Hougang and Ang Mo Kio. The arrests came within 12 hours of the report. The $2 million ransom - which was negotiated down from $20 million - was recovered at the bottom of a tree near a pavilion at Sembawang Park after the arrest.

The younger of the two suspects is an odd-job labourer, while the older man is a credit card promoter. Both suspects are Singaporeans and are not related.

The police said that there have been only three confirmed cases of kidnapping for ransom in the last 10 years, and all perpetrators were arrested and later jailed for life. The $2 million is the highest amount paid in ransom in a kidnapping case here.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday commended the police for the swift arrest of the two suspects.

“With the safety of the victim as their top priority, our officers spared no effort to carefully and skillfully trace the suspects, secure the safety of the victim and bring the suspects to justice expeditiously,” said DPM Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.

“The family of the victim had done the right thing by lodging a police report immediately. The family also gave the police their full cooperation. Kidnapping is a very rare and serious offence and the perpetrators will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.”

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