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Nation

Indian trader's family paid ransom for release

John Unson - The Philippine Star

COTABATO CITY, Phlippines --- Ransom was paid in exchange for the release last week of Indian trader Krishan Singh Arora at the border of the neighboring Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte provinces, his daughter revealed Monday.

Arora’s daugther, Kritika, who is based in Canada, announced over Catholic station dxMS in a telephone interview  that her father was released only after they had paid ransom, contrary to assertions by the police that the victim escaped from captivity while his captors were asleep.

Kritika said her father was turned over by the kidnappers to a negotiator who arranged the clandestine ransom payoff.

"I paid half the amount to the person who negotiated for my father's release and the other half to the kidnappers," she said.

Kritika declined to reveal the total amount of money they paid to the negotiator and the kidnappers.

Text messages earlier circulated here and in Lanao del Sur purporting that the kidnappers were asking P10 million from Arora's family.

Kritika and and her father hugged each other tightly and broke in tears when they met at the police station in Parang town in Maguindanao Saturday, following the trader’s release in Sultan Naga Dimaporo town in Lanao del Norte.

"My dad did not escape from his abductors. He was set free," Kritika said.

The Indian businessman was trying to re-open the mothballed Eversun Plywood Factory in Barangay Sarmiento in the east of Parang town when kidnappers, disguised as soldiers, snatched him last November 13.

The seaside plywood factory Arora was reportedly trying to revive was originally owned by South Korean incorporators, but closed down about a decade ago due to management problems.

Senior Supt. Madid Paicao, director of the Lanao del Norte provincial police, said earlier that foreigner, who was held captive in Pikong town in Lanao del Sur, made a daring dash toward the nearest barangay in Sultan Naga Dimaporo while his five captors were asleep.

“He decided to escape when he sensed that all his captors were asleep,” Paicao said.

Paicao said residents of Barangay Parika in Sultan Naga Dimaporo found the haggard and pale Arora, who is of pure Indian descent, wandering in a farm, disoriented. 

ARORA

BARANGAY PARIKA

BARANGAY SARMIENTO

EVERSUN PLYWOOD FACTORY

KRITIKA

LANAO

MADID PAICAO

MAGUINDANAO SATURDAY

NORTE

SULTAN NAGA DIMAPORO

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