PHNOM PENH: Two Malaysian consultants and three Cambodian rubber company workers were kidnapped by a dozen armed villagers while travelling on a remote road in central Cambodia.
The Malaysian consultants rubber-growing specialists hired by the Agriculture Ministry to assess growing capabilities in an area of Kompong Thom province were reportedly travelling in a car when the kidnappers stopped them in a dense jungle area.
They were hired to see how we can grow rubber trees in the area, but they were kidnapped, said Ly Phalla, director-general of the Agriculture Ministrys rubber department.
I havent received any more information about the kidnappers or the victims since last night, he said.
But we are working very carefully because we dont want to put their lives in danger.
Ly Phalla said the kidnappers, who initially demanded a US$50,000 (RM190,000) ransom, already released two of the Cambodians while one of the Malaysians had escaped.
He said the latest ransom demanded was US$15,000 (RM57,600).
Police and soldiers meanwhile are hunting the kidnappers.