The kidnappers who snatched a Shanghai tourist and a Filipina hotel worker from a Malaysian resort over a week ago have demanded a ransom of 87 million HKD (11.2 million USD) for the release of the former, SCMP reports.
Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said they received a note from the kidnappers demanding a ransom, which is equivalent to 70 million yuan.
“Gao’s family has appointed someone to negotiate for her safe release,” Zahid, whose ministry handles internal security and law enforcement, said.
“We hope this case can be settled as soon as possible,” he said.
“We have sent our team, the police and the negotiators to discuss through their so-called appointed middle person to negotiate the reduction of ransom,” told a local newspaper.
Twenty-nine-year-old Gao Huayun and a 40-year-old hotel employee named Marcy Dayawan on April 2 were taken by a group of gunmen and dragged onto a boat at the Singamata Reef Resort in Malaysia’s Sabah state.
Three men carrying M14 automatic rifles took Dayawan from her room and on their way to the boat, grabbed Gao, who screamed “I don’t want to go” in English, according to recent police accounts.
Three days ago, the abductors reportedly made a phone call to Gao’s family, and Philippine security forces said they believed that the women were being held on Jojo Island in the southern Philippines, both unharmed.
The kidnappers are believed to be affiliated with Abu Sayyaf “sub-commander” Murphy Ambang Lidjia, who was involved in another Sabah resort abduction in 2000.
Malaysia’s home minister added that no ransom has yet been demanded for the Filipina resort worker.