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Malaysian Police Rescue 10 Burmese Hostages

7 January 2014

Police in Malaysia’s Penang State rescued 10 Burmese nationals, including two children, from a house where they were being held for ransom, the Malaysian news agency Bernama reported on Monday. The hostages, aged eight to 22, are believed to be victims of a crime syndicate that smuggled them across the border from Thailand and demanded payment for their freedom from their families in Burma. At a press conference on Monday, state police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said that a couple holding cards from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees were also detained in the operation. “The couple is believed to be agents of the syndicate, which has been operating for the past several months,” he said.