SUNGAI BULOH - Two men who botched a kidnapping days ago had apparently come up with their plan based on Hong Kong TV serials.
The men, who are now in police custody, reportedly admitted that they had copied what they saw in the screen dramas when they abducted a female factory manager.
A source with knowledge of the investigation said that the younger man, a 26-year-old electrician, told the police that he was "really stupid to have gone along with the plan".
The man said he regretted his actions because the ransom they would demand was for settling the gambling debts of his accomplice.
Also, the electrician was hoping to make a quick buck for the coming Chinese New Year festivities, said the source.
It was also learnt that the accomplice, a 27-year-old air-conditioning technician, owed tens of thousands after gambling here and in Macau.
On Tuesday, the two men in a stolen van ambushed the 28-year-old manager as she was driving near an international school along Jalan Sierramas Utama at about 6.30pm.
The daughter of a businessman and manager of the family's curtain-making business was with her maid when the men struck.
They forced her out of her vehicle and bundled her into their van.
Her screams attracted passers-by and some of them chased after the van in their cars and on motorcycles.
The men got cold feet during the pursuit and let the manager go after several kilometres.
While some people attended to the victim, the rest continued to give chase.
The driver of the van lost control of the vehicle as it headed to Jalan Kuala Selangor and crashed it.
The van burst into flames and the kidnappers were caught and handed to the police.
Policemen searching the vehicle found a note demanding a RM5 million (S$1.6 million) ransom for the manager, written in Chinese and Malay.
A large empty suitcase, believed to be for hiding the victim, was also inside.
The manager was reportedly in stable condition, but was still traumatised.
According to the source, the men had been following her for about a month before making their move.