Businessmen held at gunpoint for three days after being kidnapped in Hong Kong

Indian businessmen held for three days but ransom unpaid and two suspects arrested

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 4:27am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 8:51am

A group of Indian businessmen have been freed after being kidnapped in Hong Kong and held at gunpoint for three days.

The three men - travelling together on a business trip - were abducted within hours of their arrival on Saturday and a ransom demand of HK$19 million was made by the abductors to their families in India.

They were taken to a hideout in the northern New Territories and guarded by a gang armed with a firearm and choppers.

The abduction, which sparked a rare international police operation over the weekend, ended with their release.

A 27-year-old man of Indian descent was arrested in Hong Kong and another man, aged 28, is being held by the police in India. Police are hunting the remaining members of the gang.

Details of the international effort to release the captives, aged 35, 48 and 55, are being kept under wraps but sources have told the South China Morning Post that they were driven to Chek Lap Kok airport on Monday and set free.

Sources close to the investigation - which like all kidnap cases was highly secretive in order to protect the victims - said all three businessmen suffered injuries during their captivity but were able to be interviewed by police.

It is understood no ransom money was paid but the gang took the victims' cash and valuables before they were freed.

The 27-year-old suspect is facing kidnap and robbery charges and was being questioned in Tai Po police station last night.

Detectives from the New Territories North regional crime unit are now leading the hunt for the rest of the kidnap gang - all believed to be of South Asian origin.

"The victims were threatened and held by five to six South Asian men armed with choppers and what appeared to be a pistol. It was well-planned and obviously had an international dimension to it," a police source said.

The source confirmed a HK$19 million ransom demand had been delivered to the families in India.

Hong Kong police sought assistance from the Indian authorities through the force's Liaison Bureau, a move a senior police officer described as "rare''.

Last week, China and India signed a defence co-operation accord to avert potential stand-offs in their disputed border areas as they vowed not to let the row overshadow ties.

In April last year, four men bungled an attempt to kidnap billionaire Florence Tsang Chiu-wing's mother and four-year-old daughter outside the ESF International Kindergarten (Hillside) in Wan Chai.

They were forced to abandon the girl and her 60-year-old grandmother in a seven-seater vehicle after they were unable to start the engine.