Trio charged with attempted extortion involving US$250,000 in Penang kidnapping case

(From left) Benjamin Ling Jialiang, 25, Judy Wee Aye Fong, 52, and Fong Ling Ling, 45, are alleged to have attempted to extort the money from Ms Crystal Lim Chew Kwan.
(From left) Benjamin Ling Jialiang, 25, Judy Wee Aye Fong, 52, and Fong Ling Ling, 45, are alleged to have attempted to extort the money from Ms Crystal Lim Chew Kwan.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A man and two women were hauled to court on Friday to face an attempted extortion charge involving US$250,000.

Benjamin Ling Jialiang, 25, Judy Wee Aye Fong, 52, and Fong Ling Ling, 45, a Singapore permanent resident, are alleged to have attempted to extort the money from Ms Crystal Lim Chew Kwan between Monday and Wednesday.

Court papers say the trio intentionally put Ms Lim in fear by threatening to cause harm to two brothers, Mr Ng Chee How and Mr Ng Chia How, if the amount was not delivered.

The trio were remanded at Central police division for further investigation.

The prosecution said that the victims are still in Malaysia assisting police in their investigation.

Ling is represented by a lawyer while the two women were unrepresented.

Wee's charge states that at the time of the alleged offence, she was a person subject to supervision under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act.

The trio will be back in court on March 4.

In a statement on Thursday, police said they received a call of a case where a 29-year-old woman was contacted via an unknown Malaysian mobile phone number, demanding a ransom of US$250,000 to be paid for the release of her 28-year-old fiance.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Bureau and Police Intelligence Department responded immediately and started investigation.

Preliminary investigations showed that the two brothers, aged 28 and 27, had travelled to Penang for a business trip on Feb 21.

Officers from the Singapore Police Force coordinated their efforts with the Royal Malaysia Police which led to the arrests and the brothers' whereabouts were ascertained.

Malaysian police raided a hotel in Penang on Feb 24 and arrested four men. The two victims were rescued unharmed.

On the same day, Criminal Investigation Department officers moved in and arrested four Singaporean suspects in connection with the case.

If convicted, the trio could be jailed for up to five years. Ling may also be caned.