Kidnapped Pogo worker’s hubby now person of interest
The husband of the Chinese woman who was reportedly abducted on Monday night by her own compatriots in Makati City has become one of the “persons of interest” in her case.
Chen Tangbin was “suspiciously silent” when asked who might be behind the kidnapping of Mei Zhou when he gave his statement to the police on Tuesday, according to Maj. Gideon Ines, city police investigation chief.
“Chen did not seem eager to find his wife. When we asked him why he did not report to the police immediately upon learning his partner had been abducted, he just replied that he was busy,” Ines said on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Zhou, an employee of a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) company based in Makati City, was believed kidnapped by at least three Chinese men onboard a Kia Carnival parked on Paseo de Roxas shortly after 9 p.m. on Monday. As of Thursday, the police have yet to find her.
Tangbin also gave “inconsistent answers” during the course of the investigation, the police said.
According to the police, Zhou “casually boarded” the gray van with plate number LSA 880, leading them to believe that she may have known the suspects. She only started screaming for help when they stopped her from getting off the vehicle which then drove away.
Ranson demand received
Tangbin had told probers that he was able to talk to his wife after she was abducted, claiming that her kidnappers were asking money for her release.
However, he could not come up with the ransom as he was currently out of work, Ines said.
“Maybe the abductors were trying to extort money from the boss of Zhou, who is currently employed as an area manager of a Pogo service provider based in Makati,” he added.
Zhou’s manager, however, said he had not received any ransom demand.
The police ruled out the angle that Zhou had debts or problems in her company—common motives in previous kidnappings involving Chinese Pogo employees—with her manager saying she was a “good employee.”
Ines also noted that Tangbin lied to them when he initially said Zhou was carrying a deed of sale in an envelope when she was abducted. A review of the closed-circuit television camera footage, however, showed that she was not holding anything.
“The envelope may have come from the car used by the abductors,” he said.
Based on the unsigned and undated deed of sale found at the crime scene, Tangbin was selling a Honda Accord sedan to his friend, a certain Zhu Jianwei—another person of interest—for P1 million.
Police tried to find Zhu based on the address indicated in the deed of sale—a condominium building in Pasay City—but the guards told them the unit number they were looking for was “nonexistent.”
Probers also found out that his driver’s license was fake, with his signature reading “dick.”
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