Kidnappers knew British boy’s family, cops say

The street where Freddie lived with his mother before he was kidnapped. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The street where Freddie lived with his mother before he was kidnapped. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — The man and woman who snatched a British toddler from his home in the affluent Bangsar earlier this evening likely knew his family well, city police said.

However, Datuk Ku Chin Wah, head of the City Criminal Investigation Department (CID), admitted that the police were stumped as to the possible motive.

“Until now, we don’t know their motives,” Ku told reporters at the Pantai police station here in a late night new conference.

“We suspect that they know the family,” he said, before adding, ”The mother did not recognise the man.”

Ku confirmed earlier alerts by family friends to British expatriate, Sarah Joseph, 39, that her son, Freddie Joseph, aged one-and-a-half years, had been grabbed by a man armed with a knife at 6pm today while they were dining out in their front garden.

He added that Joseph was with a domestic worker at the time.

A neighbour who witnessed the incident had tried to save Freddie, the policeman said, but there was a struggle and the kidnapper flashed a knife and slashed at Joseph, injuring her.

Ku also confirmed alerts that the kidnapper had fled with a female accomplice a white Toyota Camry.

However, he did not provide further details of the case.

Friends of the family have also been warned against speaking to the media.

The Malay Mail Online was alerted to the kidnapping after a friend of the toddler’s mother sent an email requesting help to hunt down the man and woman who took Freddie.

A British expatriate, named Chris Bailey, said Freddie was snatched from the front garden of his Bangsar home here at about 6pm today.

A picture of the British boy only identified as ‘Freddie’ who is reported to have been kidnapped from his home in Bangsar on November 8, 2013. — Picture courtesy of a family friend
A picture of the British boy only identified as ‘Freddie’ who is reported to have been kidnapped from his home in Bangsar on November 8, 2013. — Picture courtesy of a family friend

The kidnapper was described as standing about 5-feet-6-inches tall with Chinese or Burmese features.

His female accomplice was reportedly an Asian with long black hair.

The duo reportedly made their getaway in a white Toyota Camry, which bore the car registration plate number BKP 4386.

Today’s incident comes three months after a 28-year-old woman claimed she escaped a kidnapping attempt in the leafy middle-class suburb.

But Freddie’s abduction also recalls the kidnap of 12-year-old Dutch schoolboy, Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, last year.

The pre-teen was grabbed while walking to the Mont Kiara International School on April 27 last year and released six days later at the Sungai Buloh highway rest stop after his family paid a RM300,000 ransom.

Malaysians are becoming increasingly alarmed by the rise in armed and violent crimes and have turned to engaging private security guards to keep them safe.

However, recent reports of increasing violence by guards who obtain jobs under false identities have sent shockwaves throughout the nation.