JOHOR BARU - Police have arrested 16 suspects, including the alleged leader of a secret society, in the course of investigating the case of a 57-year-old man who was kidnapped at Iskandar Puteri here.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said that the suspects including three women, between the ages of 21 and 59, were arrested in a series of raids in various locations around here and in Kuala Lumpur.
He added that the victim, a Malaysian, was kidnapped at around 7am on Jan 27 while he was jogging with a friend along Jalan Gelang Patah here.
"The victim, who is a vegetable trader in Singapore, was kidnapped by two masked men, one of whom fired a shot to scare away the victim's friend," said Comm Mohd Khalil.
"They then took him away in a Honda City that had a false registration number," he said, adding that the friend then immediately lodged a report with the police.
Comm Mohd Khalil said this at a press conference at the state police headquarters here on Thursday (Feb 7).
He said the kidnappers then demanded a ransom of RM1.8 million (S$599,364) from the victim's family for his release.
The victim, who was kept in an empty house here for five days, was released on Jan 31 after the family paid the ransom.
"Following the suspects' arrest, we were able to recover some of the ransom money, amounting to RM108,188, and two vehicles used by the group to kidnap the victim," he said.
He also said that investigation of the suspects found that at least five of them were members of a secret society called "Gee Tiong Seng" and "Ah Hor".