Parents held for abducting son

Parents held for abducting son

KUALA LUMPUR - An Australian couple has been detained in Penang after allegedly kidnapping their two-year-old son from South Australia and bringing him to Malaysia last week.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh said the boy's parents, aged 26 and 23, were held on Thursday with the co­­operation of Interpol following a request by the Australian authorities.

"We acted quickly in tracking down the couple after the warrants of arrest were issued and managed to rescue the child," he told The Star yesterday.

Sources said the couple was brought to a magistrate's court here and the Attorney-General's Chambers had obtained a 60-day remand order against the pair for extradition.

The couple is believed to have fled with the boy to Malaysia from Adelaide last Saturday.

The Australian government is now required to send its request to its Malaysian counterparts within 60 days for the extradition pro­cess.

"The boy is now in the custody of the Australian High Commission while the parents are being remanded in Sungai Buloh," he said.

Meanwhile, Australia's Daily Mail reported that arrangements were being made for the child's safe return to Australia.

The report stated that Australian police had also charged the child's 64-year-old grandfather and 52-year-old grandmother with aiding and abetting in the unlawful removal of a child from a jurisdiction.

The grandparents allegedly handed the boy over to his parents on Aug 2.

Police refused to reveal why the parents had lost custody of their child or if they had a criminal record.

However, they did reveal that "the child was under an assessment and investigation order that was issued by the courts at the time he was taken".

The boy, who had reportedly been under the guardianship of Education and Child Deve­lopment Minister Jennifer Rankine when kidnapped, was living with his grandparents.

Daily Mail quoted Chief Supt John Venditto as saying that the entire operation took six days from the moment police were informed the child was missing until his parents' arrest.

"It is an extraordinarily quick and rapid response to something that would generally take a lot longer," he said.

Investigation officer Chief Insp Tony Crameri said the child's well-being was the priority throughout the operation, according to the Australian news portal.

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