KUALA LUMPUR: Police have busted a syndicate believed to have been responsible for at least 13 extortion and kidnapping cases in the city.
Kuala Lumpur police Criminal Investigations Department chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said four members of the syndicate were detained yesterday. Initial investigations revealed that the group always worked in pairs and all their victims were women.
He said a syndicate member would disguise himself as a taxi driver and pick up passengers. Once the victim had boarded the taxi, the man would give excuses to stop at a spot where an accomplice would be awaiting.
"Among the excuses given was that they needed to make a stop as the taxi had engine problem.
"They would then force the victim to make calls to their relatives or friends and demand a ransom for their release. In one case, a victim was released after the abductors received RM40,000 from her relative."
He advised the public, especially women, who had to travel in a taxi to note down the vehicle registration number and message the number to their friends.
"Please take note that a genuine taxi will have its driver's name and photo placed in front of the front passenger seat. It also has the taxi registration number below the photograph. Please be cautious and message your friends."
He said police were looking for two men to facilitate investigation into these cases.
They are Prakash Kumar Subramaniam, of No 9, Jalan Wangsa 5A, Bukit Antarabangsa, 68000, Ampang, Selangor, and Joseph Aruna, 26.
Those with information on the men can contact Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at 03-21460522 or the nearest police station.