GEORGE TOWN: An Indonesian woman's worst nightmare came true when a group of criminals kidnapped, locked up, and tortured her for 10 days across multiple places in numerous states, including Penang.
State police chief Datuk Khaw Kok Chin said the victim, from Medan, was kidnapped by three men while here on a holiday with her three female friends.
He said the 36-year-old victim was kidnapped in Paya Terubong before being brought to Butterworth where she was locked up.
He said the victim's three friends were however released unharmed mid-way by the suspects.
"The victim was locked up for three days in Butterworth, four days in Puchong and three days in Shah Alam. She was finally rescued from a house in Shah Alam after her husband lodged a police report.
"The suspects had locked up the victim in several locations to make it hard for police to track her down.
"During the rescue operation, police also found a 27-year-old foreign man who was kidnapped for an unrelated case," he told a press conference at the state police contingent headquarters here today.
Khaw said the victim was found with injuries all over her body and was believed to have been chained, burned with cigarette ends, pricked with needles, beaten, and had her hands and feet restrained with cable ties in addition to being chained.
"When found, the victim was in a weak condition from the injuries sustained. She was however being fed by her captors.
"The victim, who has an online business, is currently being treated at the hospital and reported to be in a stable condition," he added.
Elaborating, Khaw said the victim was kidnapped on Sept 7 but her 47-year-old husband only lodged a report on Sept 15.
"After the kidnapping, the suspect had asked the victim to contact her husband in Indonesia to settle a RM540,000 business debt.
"The husband conducted two transactions totalling RM50,750 on Sept 12 and Sept 13 to the mastermind of the group.
"However, the suspects still did not release his wife, resulting in the husband to come to Kuala Lumpur on Sept 15 to lodge a police report. After receiving the report, police lodged the Op Scorpion Rantai Penang operation to locate the victim," he said.
He added that as a result of the operation, police nabbed 14 suspects, including two foreign men, in several locations in Selangor, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.
"Among those detained were the mastermind, aged 35, nine local men, two local women and two foreign men, all of whom aged between 23 and 70.
"Five of them had previous records involving criminal and drugs-related offences. None of them tested positive for drugs," he said, adding that they had been remanded until Sept 23 to assist in investigation.
Khaw said further investigation revealed that the main suspect was the business partner of the victim's husband, and that the husband was believed to have failed to pay a business debt, which led to the kidnapping.
"Both of them are contractors and carried out their businesses in Kuala Lumpur. After realising that the business debt was not settled, the suspect became enraged and resorted to kidnapping his friend's wife.
"We seized several items which included 23 handphones, 36 cable ties, RM4,800 cash, metal chain and rod. Also seized were four vehicles used in transporting the victim," he said.
The case is probed under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961.