7 nabbed by Malaysia police after ransom paid for release of kidnapped Singaporean: Report

JOHOR BARU - Malaysian police have arrested seven men believed to be involved in the kidnapping of a Singapore vegetable trader in Gelang Patah in southern Johor.

The men were arrested after the trader's family paid a ransom of RM1 million (S$331,000) to the kidnappers, The Malaysian Insight news site reported on Tuesday, quoting Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Mohd Kader.

The businessman, who is in his 50s, was allegedly kidnapped on Jan 27. He was not named.

The family paid the ransom on Jan 31 and he was released a day later, the report said.

Police recovered several weapons and part of the ransom money in the operation to nab the suspects, The Malaysian Insight said.

A source told the news site: "The police operation to trace the suspects started as soon as word was received that the victim was already free and safe."

The suspects were rounded up in police operations last Friday and Saturday by Johor police and a special unit from police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

The source said the men are being investigated under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961 and the Firearms Act 1960.

Contacted on Wednesday, Johor Baru police confirmed the incident but did not divulge more information.

It will be holding a news conference on Thursday to give more details of the kidnapping.

Gelang Patah is a small township that is located close to the Johor side of the Second Link bridge at Tuas, beside the Iskandar Puteri township, formerly known as Nusajaya.