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Manila gangs targeting rich Indians

Kidnapping is on rise in Philippines with gangs targeting Indian moneylenders for ransom.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 14:50 IST

Kidnapping is on the rise in the capital of Philippines with gangs targeting Indian moneylenders for ransom, in addition to Chinese businessmen, a senior national police official said on Tuesday.

Business rivalry and unpaid debt were among the key factors behind the abduction of Indian traders, Prudencio Banas, head of anti-kidnapping police task force, said.
"Based on our previous experiences, some Chinese gangs were behind the kidnappings of fellow ethnic Chinese business people. Now, we've observed an increase in the number of Indian nationals being kidnapped."

"They were kidnapped and released on the same day, sometimes only for 60,000 pesos ($1,100)," Banas said.

The Philippines reported 50 cases of kidnapping for ransom in 2005, up from 29 the previous year.

More than a dozen Indians were abducted last year, but none of these cases were reported, police officials said.

During the first four months of this year, police reported 17 kidnap-for-ransom cases, including two involving Indians. Around 10 cases were reported in the same period in 2005.
A Sikh temple in eastern Manila was closed after its Indian cook was accused of plotting the abduction of a compatriot, Banas said.
There are around 28,000 Indians in the Philippines. Local shopkeepers frequently borrow small amounts of up to 5,000 pesos from Indian moneylenders, who travel around Manila on motorbikes to collect the loans.