Saturday, May 5, 2012

Malaysia: Kidnapped Expat's Son, 12, Released After Payment of Ransom

As a follow-up to my May 1 updated posting, concerning the April 27 kidnapping of  Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, 12,  the good news this morning is that the youngster was released yesterday  (May 4) after the payment of RM300,000 (US$98,500).

Although originally the ransom demand was RM1 million, the negotiator retained by the parents was able to negotiate downward a reasonable ransom payment.

COMMENT: Unfortunately, all of the kidnappers, believed to include three prime suspects, remain at large, although Malaysian police are aggressively pursuing a number of leads.

For our readers who may not have read the earlier postings, the victim of the abduction was walking to school at the time, which is never a good idea in a developing country where the children of diplomats, expats and business leaders are at risk of being seized for either ransom or human trafficking purposes.

In a strange turn of events, the kidnappers used Nayati's Facebook account to communicate with the Facebook account of his father Shamelin Moodliar, and communicated the original demand of RM 1 million. 

Although Facebook facilitated the initial demand, it is not suggested that it be used regularly in kidnap cases, given the anonymity and difficulty of identifying individuals.

Police are relying heavily on the assistance of the Bukit Aman Cyber Crimes Investigations Department as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in  an effort to trace the IP address that the kidnappers used for communicating via Facebook with Nayati's family.

Typically, kidnappers often communicate with families and companies by using untraceable mobile phones.

It should be noted that Malaysia is one of the most sophisticated countries in the world when it comes to computer technology and cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism analysis.