Malaysian police have arrested a total of 18 Malaysians and Indonesians suspected to be involved in the kidnapping of the wife of a wealthy Malaysian Chinese businessman.
The 30-year-old woman was kidnapped from her home in Bandar Putra Kulai in Johor at around 3.30am on Feb 21.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the victim was taken by boat to Batam, Indonesia by the abductors, where she was held captive at a farm.
The kidnappers demanded a ransom sum of $3 million, which was paid up by her family.
Malaysian and Indonesian police then managed to rescue the woman on Sunday (Mar 19), while also managing to recover the entire ransom sum, Lianhe Wanbao reported.
Khalid said though the victim was held for 27 days, her family kept the incident under wraps and gave full co-operation to the police, which enabled her to be safely rescued.
"The kidnappers took about two weeks before contacting her family for ransom. The important factor here is that the family did not seek publicity on the matter, which led to the police's success in getting her home," Khalid said at a press conference after attending a Criminal Intelligence Unit meeting here on Monday.
He added that 12 suspects were arrested in Johor Baru while another six were arrested in Batam.
Malaysia's China Press reported that the abduction was orchestrated by a group of kidnappers in collaboration with a group of Indonesian domestic workers.
The kidnappers broke into the woman's home and abducted her, having gained knowledge about her background and daily routines. They then handed her over to the Indonesian workers, who brought her to Batam by sea.
The police are investigating the case under Malaysia's Kidnapping Act 1961. If found guilty, the suspects may be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Indonesian police said that the six male Indonesian suspects are believed to be the subordinates of a man known as "Wak Lan", who may be the mastermind behind the entire operation.