MALACCA - He was kai pah (godfather) to 13-year-old M. Gunaseelan (pic) and often gave the boy free meals.
On Saturday, the man treated him to a game at a cybercafe and then brought him to an empty office at a shophouse in an abandoned commercial centre at Taman Merdeka Jaya, about 2km from the boy's home.
On Monday evening, the owner of the shophouse brought two prospective tenants to view the office and they were shocked to see the lifeless body of the teenager, clad in jeans and T-shirt, tied to a chair and gagged.
The victim's mother lodged a police report at around 8pm the same day.
At around 11pm, the police spotted the suspect at a hotel in Taman Angkasanuri in Durian Tunngal and arrested him. The police also seized three handphones from the 49-year-old man.
During interrogation, he confessed that he had kidnapped the boy and demanded a RM20,000 (S$7,695) ransom for his release, hoping the money would help to treat his young Vietnamese wife, who is allegedly suffering from a rare skin disease.
"Our initial investigation revealed that the suspect abducted the victim as he was facing severe financial constraint," said Malacca police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye.
He said the suspect, who was jobless, had been remanded for seven days.