Based on information available so far, the Taiwanese woman who was abducted from a resort off the East Malaysian state of Sabah last week is “safe,” Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.
The woman was reportedly kidnapped by “a group of 10 unidentified criminals who fled toward the southern Philippines aboard two boats,” Lin told legislators during a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Chang An-wei (張安薇), 58, was abducted on Friday while on vacation in Pom Pom off the east coast of Sabah. Her 57-year-old male companion, Hsu Li-min (許立民), was found dead with two bullet wounds in his chest.
Based on bullet shells left at the scene and other evidence, Malaysian police suspect that the shooting and abduction were carried out by Philippine terrorists, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau has sent a liaison officer to Malaysia to obtain firsthand information about the investigation into the case.
Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) said yesterday that it was an international criminal case and that the government will definitely request the law enforcement authorities of both Malaysia and the Philippines to help rescue Chang, despite the absence of diplomatic relations with the two countries.
Luo said that the Ministry of Justice would continue to communicate with the two countries on the matter to ensure a proper rescue effort and protect the safety of the hostage.
The abducted woman’s brother, Chang Ta-kung (張大公), said the family had not received any ransom demands.
He requested the media to avoid any reporting on the issue that would endanger his sister’s safety.