Two kidnappers were killed by Malaysian police in a shoot-out in Johor during a rescue of a businessman who was held captive for ransom since last week.
The shoot-out occurred in an oil palm plantation in Mersing on Tuesday (24 December) in the early morning.
The 41-year old victim was reportedly abducted by four armed men on 17 December when he was on his way to a shop to eat in a Johor suburb called Taman Gaya, Ulu Tiram, around 8.45 am, said Johor deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Shafie Ismail at a press conference.
The family had lodged a police report on the abduction and told the authorities that they had also received a S$10 million ransom demand.
The police then formed a special team to investigate the abduction. Their efforts bore fruit when they tracked the location of the victim to an oil palm estate in Mersing on the night of 23 December where he was being held captive in a black Honda City.
Describing the incident, Datuk Shafie said the police were fired upon when by approached the car. A police superintendent was injured when a bullet went through his left leg and right thigh. A third bullet landed in his belt buckle. The police returned fire before the two suspects fled deeper into the plantation.
The police continued their pursuit and managed to track them down and locate then around 2 am the next day on Tuesday. The suspects fired several more shots at the police who returned fire. The police killed the two suspects in the shoot-out.
Datuk Shafie told Bernama that the investigations revealed that the two suspects, aged 39 and 52, had used two semi-automatic 9mm and 0.45 calibre pistols. They also had criminal records relating to firearms, robberies, possession of deadly weapons in a riot, and misconduct under the Entertainment Act. He said that the authorities believe them to be part of a criminal group which was crippled by the police earlier this year.
“We are hunting down the remaining members of the gang whose leader was arrested early this year and has been charged in court,” said Datuk Shafie.
He added that the police believed that the kidnappers were going to kill the victim when the police arrived and that they would have killed him whether the ransom was paid or not.
The victim had his hands bound with iron chains and blinded for six days while he was held captive. The blindfold was removed on the final night. He also sustained injuries on his back after being shot by one of the kidnappers during the shoot-out.
Bernama reported that the victim is a businessman involved in the plastic industry. He is being treated at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru.