SINGAPORE - Three people who allegedly tried to extort US$250,000 (S$345,456) in connection with the alleged kidnap of two Singaporean brothers in Penang were on Friday (March 4) remanded for another two weeks.
Singaporeans Benjamin Ling Jialiang, 25, and Judy Wee Aye Fong, 52, and Singapore permanent resident Fong Ling Ling, 45, were charged last week with a count each of extortion, an offence punishable with up to five years' jail and caning.
Wee now faces four extortion charges. Ling has two of the charges, while Fong faces one count.
They will be taken back to court on March 18.
According to court documents, on Feb 22, some time between 4.58pm and 6.54pm, Wee allegedly tried to extort the amount from Mr Anthony Ng Moi Keng.
She allegedly put Mr Ng in fear by threatening to harm the brothers, Mr Ng Chee How and Mr Gabriel Ng Chia How, if the money was not delivered.
The next day, between 5.14pm and 5.23pm, she allegedly repeated the offence, together with Ling.
Later that day, between 7.14pm and 7.26pm, she allegedly tried to extort the same amount from Crystal Lim Chew Kwan, together with Ling and Fong, by threatening to harm the brothers, if the money was not delivered. Ms Lim is engaged to one of them.
And between 9.15pm and 9.25pm that same day, Wee allegedly repeated the offence, together with Fong.
The trio were brought back to court from Central Police Division, where they had been held to help in investigations.
Wee and Fong were not represented. Ling's lawyer is Mr Josephus Tan.
In a statement last Thursday (Feb 25), the police said they were told on Monday that week of a case involving a 29-year-old woman who was contacted via an unknown Malaysian mobile phone number, demanding a ransom of US$250,000 for the release of her 28-year-old fiance.
Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Police Intelligence Department responded and found that the two brothers, aged 28 and 27, had travelled to Penang for a business trip on Sunday.
Singapore police coordinated their efforts with their Malaysian counterparts to establish the victims' whereabouts and find possible suspects.
The Malaysian police raided a hotel in Penang and arrested four Malaysian men on Wednesday. The two victims were rescued unharmed.
In Singapore, CID officers arrested four suspects in connection with the case. No ransom was delivered. A 54-year-old female suspect who has not been charged is still being investigated.