Police save Chinese kidnapped over gambling debt; 2 arrested

A Chinese national reportedly kidnapped by his compatriots over unpaid gambling debts was rescued by the Parañaque City police from a hotel room at Solaire Resort and Casino early Thursday morning.

Officials said Chou Yin-Chin, 37, had been held hostage at Sky Tower in Solaire since Monday after he was unable to pay P300,000 to the suspects, who were suspected to be loan sharks.

Two of the Chou’s four alleged kidnappers—Xiong Tao, 31, and Liao Yifei, 28—were arrested during the predawn operation and charged on Thursday with serious illegal detention, which is nonbailable.

Two other suspects remained at large. Senior Supt. Victor Rosete, the city police chief, said the victim was a businessman who entered the country as a tourist on May 20.

The police were alerted about the victim’s kidnapping by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco), which was earlier contacted by Chou’s relatives who are based in Taiwan.

The suspects allegedly demanded that the relatives pay the P300,000 debt, plus P100,000 in interest.

In January, also in Parañaque, three Chinese nationals were arrested in Baclaran for holding hostage a Taiwanese woman who had failed to pay a P100,000 debt.

It was also Teco that sought assistance from the police to facilitate her rescue. — Matthew Reysio-Cruz

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