Philippines Travel Alert

Kidnapping incident involving foreign national in Manila underlines persistent risk of kidnapping for ransom; police arrest dozens of suspects accused of involvement in kidnapping gangs on July 18.

Police reportedly detained 43 suspects (two Malaysian and 41 Chinese nationals) believed to be involved in a series of kidnappings targeting wealthy foreigners on Tuesday, July 18, after police launched a raid to rescue a Singaporean tourist who had been abducted the day before. The victim was reportedly befriended by three individuals while playing at the Solaire Resorts and Casino in Pasay City, Metro Manila, who then invited her to a different casino nearby. They then allegedly took her to the Bayview International Towers in Paranaque City, where she was reportedly beaten by her captors and forced to make a video for her family demanding USD 180,000 for her release.

Those arrested in the security operation are believed to be a part of a kidnapping syndicate that typically operated in teams of four and primarily targeted foreigners at casinos. At least one more suspect remains at large and security operations are ongoing.