Dubai, May 3 (UNI) Indian nationals, who have made the Philippines their home, are the latest victims of kidnap-for-ransom gangs in Metro Manila, a police official said.
There has been a 70 per cent increase of the kidnapping activities in the first four months of 2006, he said.
The new kidnap victims are motorcycle-riding Indian nationals who lend money at 20 per cent a day to businessmen engaged in small business enterprises, Gulf News quoted the police officer as saying.
The Indians are released on the same day after payment of 60,000 pesos (Rs 53,000)as ransom, he said.
Small Indian businessmen are working in wet markets, convenience stores, school canteens, beauty parlours and barbershops, the police official said.
The Indian money lenders often operate as a husband and wife team, or a father-and-son team.
They lend money in the morning and collect the loan amount and interest at the end of the day, making the pattern of their movements known to kidnappers.
By the end of April, there were 17 cases of kidnapping in general, up from 10 cases for the same period last year.
Some members of kidnap-for-ransom gangs are Chinese nationals, police said.
UNI XC SK DS1430