There have been three previous cases of kidnapping for a ransom in Singapore over the last 13 years. All three were successfully solved by police.
- On Christmas Day 2003, a seven-year-old girl was taken from her home off Yio Chu Kang Road by a man at about 4.30pm.
After being put into a waiting vehicle, her captors - two middle-aged men - drove off towards Punggol.
Fortunately, a catering assistant who was at the victim’s residence preparing for a Christmas party heard the commotion and took down the getaway vehicle’s licence number. She called her husband, who spotted the vehicle and gave chase. The kidnappers dumped the little girl off Tampines Street 72, half an hour after she was kidnapped.
Transport manager Tan Ping Koon, 35, and cleaning company owner Chua Ser Lian, 42, were both sentenced to life imprisonment and three strokes of the cane each for the offence.
- On Aug 7, 2003, jobless Selvaraju Satippan held MediaCorp TV journalist Nina Elizabeth Varghese to ransom in her Braddell Road home, tying her hands with electrical wire.
In the 3-1/2 hours that he detained her and her maid, Selvaraju also set fire to the clothes in her wardrobe, hurt her with a kitchen knife, and attempted to kill her.
The 22-year-old news reporter managed to escape through a bathroom window.
Selvaraju, 45, was sentenced to life imprisonment and given 24 strokes of the cane.
- On August 10, 2001, a day before his wedding, 33-year-old businessman Tay Teng Joo was ambushed outside his Bukit Timah bungalow, blindfolded and bundled into his black Mercedes-Benz 320 CLK.
For six hours, site manager Chng Teo Heng, 45, businesswoman Agnes Ng Lei Eng, 52, and freelance painter Ng Soon Teck, 44, held him hostage and demanded a ransom of $1.22 million, which his family paid that same day.
Within 24 hours, the police nabbed the kidnappers and recovered all but $903 of the ransom sum.
While Ng asked for the death sentence, the trio were each sentenced to life imprisonment, with Chng receiving an additional six strokes of the cane for using a knife in the abduction.