Police tracking down kidnappers of Singapore family
JOHOR BARU, July 2 — Johor police are tracking down two men who kidnapped at gunpoint former Singapore television journalist Rita Zahara’s two children, teenage sister and maid at a petrol station here yesterday morning.
The victims were released unharmed a few hours later.
The police, who are in the dark over the nationality of the kidnappers, have set up a special team to nab the duo based on a few clues.
Johor CID chief Datuk Amer Awal said today the police were looking for Rita’s white Nissan Sunny bearing Singapore registration number plates, which was taken away by the kidnappers.
Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia was quoted as saying the 12.45am kidnapping occurred when Rita, 37, drove to a petrol station near the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex to refuel and buy fruits.
Seconds after she alighted from the car, leaving behind the children, aged six and 11, her sister and the maid, one of the two men who entered the vehicle drove it away.
Rita called her sister on the handphone only to hear a man’s voice demanding for ransom and threatening to kill her children and sister if she reported the matter to the police.
However, after negotiating for four hours with the kidnappers, the hostages were released by the sided of a road in Ulu Tiram here.
Rita said the experience was a “terrible ordeal”.
“A nightmare for any mum to have the kids and loved ones kidnapped. I cannot say anything more at this stage. I’m too tired now,” she added. — Bernama