KULAI: Four men including an Indonesian have been charged with kidnapping a housewife for ransom and holding her captive for almost a month in a semi-constructed house in Batam.
The accused - three Malaysians Beh Joo Siong 31, Lee Fa Xian, 30, Soh Wei Lon, 35 and Indonesian Agustinus Ratu, 39, had allegedly committed the offence with three others who were still at large on March 21 at about 7pm at the victim's home in Bandar Putra here.
They were said to have kidnapped a 44-year-old woman and held the woman captive in an empty and partially completed house at Kampung Lepau, Pelantar Penggerang in Kota Tinggi until a ransom of SGD$5mil (RM15.8mil) was paid by her husband.
Beh, Lee and Soh only acknowledged that they understood the charge when it was read out to them in Mandarin. It was then read out in Malay for Agustinus.
The charge was made under Section 34 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence or life imprisonment.
Magistrate Azlan Bohari fixed April 26 for the case next mention pending DNA reports.
DPP Noor Farhana Adham prosecuted the case while the accused were not represented.
No plea was recorded.
It had earlier been reported that the woman was kidnapped in the presence of her children on Feb 21 and brought her to Batam where she was held captive for 27-days on a farm.
Police had arrested 13 suspects including seven local men, four Vietnamese women and two Indonesian men in Johor while four others were nabbed in Batam in relation to the offence.