Sheng Siong kidnap: Victim followed strangers after being told that son had suffered bad fall

A 79-year-old victim followed kidnappers after they told her that her son, the chief executive of Sheng Siong supermarkets, had suffered a bad fall. They insisted that they were there to bring her to him.

Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee told reporters on Thursday that his mother, Madam Ng Lai Poh, was returning home after a walk to a nearby market.

She was at Hougang Avenue 2 (not Hougang Avenue 8 as previously reported based on what the police said) when a stranger approached her on Jan 8. After being lured into a car, she was blindfolded and bound.

The kidnappers then called Mr Lim and demanded a $20 million ransom. After a discussion with his elder brother, Mr Lim reported the kidnapping to the police. 

At about 12am on Jan 9, Mr Lim drove to Sembawang Park alone and deposited a bag containing $2 million in cash under a tree in the park. The ransom had been negotiated down earlier. Mr Lim then got a call telling him that his mother has been released. 

"About 20 minutes after we paid the ransom, (the kidnapper) told me to go to a bus-stop near Jalan Kayu, at Seletar West Camp," Mr Lim told reporters in Mandarin. 

He said he could not locate the bus-stop initially because he was not familiar with the area. "The police managed to find it for us, then I went to rescue my mother."

Madam Ng was then taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for a check-up. 

Key locations of kidnapping

A 79-year-old woman was kidnapped while walking near a bus-stop in Hougang. Here are some of the key locations of where the kidnapping happened.

SOURCE: Singapore Police Force

The police arrested two men in connection with the case on Thursday, after Mr Lim 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.

The two suspects - aged 41 and 50 - 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.

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