IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police have arrested 12 suspects in connection with the kidnapping of a 17-year-old boy in Penang.
One of the suspects is a woman believed to be working for the Singapore auxiliary police force.
The victim was abducted from his home in Taiping, blindfolded, bound and taken to Butterworth, Penang, some 90km away on Sept 2.
His ordeal ended a few days later when police rescued him after his father handed the ransom to the kidnappers, dropping it off in Johor Baru as he was instructed to.
The victim was in a passenger seat of a white Perodua Myvi with two suspected kidnappers, on Penang island at about 10.30pm on Sept 5, when police sprang into action.
Perak police chief Hasnan Hassan said the kidnappers called the boy's family after snatching him at about 8pm on Sept 2.
"They demanded a RM3 million (S$967,300) ransom and threatened to kill the boy if it was not paid," he told reporters on Wednesday (Sept 20).
His father lodged a report at the Taiping police station the day after receiving the call and a special task force was assigned.
The father, a dealer in second-hand car parts, then managed to negotiate the ransom down to RM300,000.
"At about 8.30am on Sept 5, the father was told to head to Johor Baru to hand over the ransom money," said Commissioner Datuk Hasnan.
Later, police detained several suspects, including the mastermind.
"The boy is unharmed but clearly traumatised by the incident," he said, adding that RM175,400 of the ransom money had been recovered.
Police seized the Myvi, which has a false number plate, a Toyota Vios, a motorcycle and a silver Myvi.
Also confiscated were eight cellphones, five sling bags, five sets of keys, two face masks, two lengths of rope, a pass for the Singapore auxiliary police force, a watch and several items of clothing.
Mr Hasnan said the suspects were aged between 17 and 36, and several had criminal records.
Five have been released on police bail.
"We are waiting for the deputy public prosecutor's decision on the next course of action on the remaining seven," he said.