ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 12 Sept) – Suspected kidnappers seized Thursday a Chinese national in downtown Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, a military official disclosed.
The incident took place a day after combined police and military forces arrested a member of a kidnap-for-ransom-group (KFRG) in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Capt. Franco Suelto, Public Affairs Officer-in-Charge of the Army’s First Infantry Division, identified the victim as Li Pei Zhei, 18, the sales manager Kabasalan Sales Center, a ready-to-wear outlet.
Suelto said Li was seized by four gunmen around 6 p.m. Thursday from the Kabasalan Sales Center in Barangay Poblacion, Kabasalan. The gunmen forced the victim to board a mini-van.
Suelto said the getaway vehicle sped towards Sitio Mangahas, Barangay Timuay Danda.
From there, the suspects transferred the victim to a waiting motorized banca and sped to the high seas, Suelto said.
He added that pursuing lawmen have the suspects’ getaway vehicle, but was burned by the gunmen.
He said that military and police forces are tracking down the whereabouts of the victim.
Arrested around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday off the shores of Zamboanga Sibugay was Masdal Sabatal, an alleged follower of a KFRG known as the “Mamay Aburi Group.”
Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) Information Officer-in-Charge, said joint police and military forces were conducting maritime interdiction and law enforcement operation when they chanced upon Sabatal along the seawater of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Samuddin Sabtal has standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping and serious illegal detention and robbery issued by a court in Zamboanga Sibugay.