Monday, August 27, 2012

Philippines: Kidnapped Chinese Merchant Released After US$118,000 Ransom Payment

Unidentified kidnappers on Sunday (August 26) released one of the two Chinese merchants kidnapped in Zamboanga Sibugay province last June 4, after the alleged payment of a five million peso ransom (US$118,000).

The released victim was identified as Jian Luo AKA James Luo, 43, of Guandong, China. The other victim, who has yet to be released, was Juankai Lin AKA Jampong Lin, 38.

The two Chinese kidnap victims were abducted from their staff house in Barangay F. L. Peña in the town of Kabasalan.

COMMENT:  Hopefully, police debriefings will produce useful intelligence on which kidnap gang captured and held the merchant for nearly three months.

Foreigners are reminded to avoid all travel to the southern Philippines, given the formidable kidnap threat,
in particular the Sulu Archipelago and the island of Mindanao. 

As most of our readers know, Australian Warren Rodwell, 53, was kidnapped on December 5, 2011, and is still missing, despite a US$2 million ransom demand made by his captors. He was reportedly shot while resisting capture, which is never a prudent course of action.

It should also be noted that Rodwell refused local police protection before he was kidnapped, claiming that his purchase of a handgun would be sufficient to defend himself against upwards of six kidnappers carrying assault rifles. 

He may well have under-estimated that component of his kidnap prevention plan. Unfortunately, had he heeded the Australian Embassy's travel warning on travel to the south he could have avoided the unpleasant experience that befell him.