Four freed of kidnapping charge in Malaysia

KUANTAN (Bernama) – The Chinese New Year celebration this year is more meaningful for four men after they were freed of a charge of kidnapping a businessman with the title of ‘Datuk’ three years ago.

High Court Judge Datuk Hassan Abdul Ghani made the decision yesterday on Low Sing Hwa, 32, Tham Hock Ann, 39, Chong Yee Loon, 41, and Liew Chee Wei, 39.

Hassan, who heard the testimony of 29 prosecution witnesses during the trial, decided that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case to call all the defendants to defend themselves against the accusation.

All the accused, who were dressed in white jail uniforms, appeared nonchalant when the decision was read.

They were charged with two others who were still at large with kidnapping businessman Datuk Chin Yoke Choon, 56, to get ransoms of SGD5 million and RM4 million at 5.55pm on December 26, 2016 at the Hotel Sri Manja Boutique parking lot, B2-34 Jalan IM7/1, Bandar Indera Mahkota.

The offence punishable under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961 was read with Section 34 of the Penal Code and if found guilty could be hung to death or life in prison and caning.

The media prior to this stated the victim, who was the executive director of a supermarket, and property and developing companies, was reported to have been kidnapped by a group of men who wore police uniforms and drove a patrol car.

The victim was released in Genting Sempah after 74 days of captivity after his family paid the ransoms in Singapore currency.

At the proceeding, the accused were represented by lawyer S Raveentharan and Eng Yuh Pei while Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahrul Ekhsan Hasim represented the prosecution.