Police have rescued a Malaysian from three Chinese nationals who allegedly kidnapped and held him inside a casino hotel after he could not pay the interest on P500,000 they loaned to his friend for use in gambling.
Yuyun Gao, 43; Xin Fan, 21; and Wei Guo, 46, were arrested for illegally detaining Raymond Lim, 24, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) announced on Friday.
The suspected kidnappers are all single, tourists and temporarily billeted at No. 1939 Pearl Wing Hotel, Okada, Parañaque City while the victim is married, a native of Johor but working as a driver/controller of 5F Company located at Pearl Plaza, Quirino Avenue, Parañaque City, and is temporarily billeted at room 526, Tower A, Solomary Condominium, Aseana, Pasay City.
PNP-AKG Director, Police Col. Jonnel C. Estomo said Lim was rescued after he managed to e-mail Okada Resort and Casino hotel staffs for help while being held inside a room last 4 September. Jose Nicolas, Operations Manager of Okada Resort and Casino, immediately called the police at about 6:30 a.m. of 4 September 2019.
“I was house arrest by China people in Okada Casino, can you help me please, they say no give money don’t let me go,” read Lim’s e-mail message.
Estomo said Lim’s ordeal began on 7 September 2019 at about 9 a.m. when the victim and his friend, Ah Hui, a Malaysian national working in an online gaming company in Makati City, went to Okada Hotel and Casino to gamble.
When his friend lost his money, three Chinese nationals approached Hui and offered him P500,000 worth of casino chips in exchange for 20 percent interest in every winning bet he makes. Hui agreed and resumed playing Baccarat.
However, Lim’s friend lost all the borrowed money, so he asked him to stay with the suspects while he look for money to pay the loansharks. Hui did not return and did not answer Lim’s calls and text messages.
At about 2 p.m. of the same date, the victim was brought by the three Chinese nationals in Room 1939 on the 19th floor of Okada Hotel and Casino where he was detained.
While inside the hotel room, the suspects ordered him to call his relatives from Malaysia to send money to them.
Estomo said the victim contacted his Malaysian brother, Lee Lan Lan, and told him that he was kidnapped and needed to pay 70,000 renminbi (RMB).
Lee gave the money to the suspects via money transfer. Despite the payment, the Chinese did not let Lim go and forced him again to pay another 70,000 RMB as interest. His brother failed to give the additional amount as he no longer has money.
Lim searched for the email address of the hotel in his smartphone and sent an email message to the management which in turn called the police.
Agents from the PNP AKG then rescued Lim at Room 1939, Pearl Wing Hotel Okada at about 8:10 a.m. Wednesday. The police team also arrested the three male Chinese suspects.
Estomo said inquest proceeding was conducted Thursday on the three suspects by Department of Justice Senior Assistant Prosecutor Xerxes U. Garcia for the crime of Kidnapping for Ransom with Serious Illegal Detention.