Philippine police have arrested a large group of over 40 Chinese and Malaysian nationals suspected of kidnapping a Singaporean woman from a casino in Manila.
The woman was abducted Monday and taken to an apartment complex in Manila, where they beat her and demanded she pay them $180,000 for her release. Authorities say the woman was rescued the following day.
Ms Wu Yan, 48, was kidnapped at the Solaire casino on Monday and then taken to Bayview International Towers, where she was beaten and threatened by her captors.
The kidnappers demanded US$180,000 for Ms Wu Yan’s release, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration said.
Commenting on the kidnapping, Glenn Dumlao, the police’s anti-kidnapping Group Director stated: “We got a break from the information that Solaire Resort and Casino gave us. We traced the taxi used, a Toyota Avanza.”
The gang, believed to be a loan shark syndicate, were targeting foreign high-rollers, with 11 similar cases having been reported since 2015 involving Chinese and Singaporean citizens.
41 Chinese nationals and two Malaysians have since been arrested with kidnapping charges filed against them, the National Police Chief Ronald de la Rosa has said.
Dumlao added: “There’s no forcible abduction because they lure the victim by continuously offering loans. And then they will say, ‘You do not have good luck here in Solaire’ or ‘You have bad luck in City of Dreams. Let’s move to Okada (another casino), maybe you will have better luck there.’
“The victim will usually follow, believing that she or he will be able to recoup (their losses),” Dumlao concluded.