JOHOR BAHRU — Police killed two kidnappers in an exchange of fire and rescued a businessman who was abducted by four armed men last week for RM30.5 million ransom, in an incident that took place at an oil palm plantation in Mersing early this morning.
Johor police deputy chief Datuk Shafie Ismail said the incident also saw the 41-year-old victim sustained injuries on his left back area after being shot by one of the suspects, while a police superintendent was shot in the left leg and right thigh.
“The local businessman was believed to have been kidnapped by four masked men armed with two pistols after he left his home to eat at a shop in Taman Gaya, Ulu Tiram, about 8.45 am on Dec 17.
“The family then lodged a police report and informed the police that the kidnappers have demanded S$10 million (RM30.5 million) in ransom from them,” he said in a press conference here today.
Acting on the report, Shafie said the police formed a special team, aided by a special investigation team from Bukit Aman comprising D8 (investigation/planning division) and D14 (organised crime investigation division) and a technical investigation team.
He said at about 8.30 pm yesterday (Monday), the special investigation team managed to track down the location of the victim who was being held in a black Honda City at an oil palm estate in Mersing.
“When the police approached the car, they were fired upon by the suspects resulting in one of the officers sustaining injuries. Police then returned fire before the duo fled deeper into the oil palm plantation,” he said.
Police continued to track down the suspects and managed to locate them at about 2 am this morning.
“The duo who were aware of the police’s presence fired several shots towards the authorities who responded in kind, resulting in the death of the two men,” Shafie said.
He said the investigation found that both suspects, aged 39 and 52, had used two semi-automatic 9mm and 45mm calibre pistols.
They also had several criminal records related to firearms, robberies, possession of deadly weapons in riots and misconducts under the Entertainment Act, and believed to be part of a criminal group that was crippled by the police early this year, he added.
“We are hunting down the remaining members of the gang whose leader was arrested early this year and has been charged in court,” said Ismail, adding that the police believed the kidnappers were about to kill the victim when the authorities arrived at the location.
“During the six-day ordeal, the victim’s hands were tied with iron chains and he was blindfolded. However, last night his blindfold was removed,” he said.
Shafie said that the police believed the victim would be killed whether the ransom was paid or not.
The case is being investigated under Section 3 of the Kidnap Act 1961, Section 307 of the Penal Code, and Section 3 of the Firearms Act 1971.
The businessman who involves in the plastic industry is currently being treated at Sultanah Aminah Hospital while the police officer received treatment at a private hospital in Iskandar Puteri.