Upon conviction, they may face death penalty or life imprisonment and if not sentenced to death, may be subject to whipping
Four Bangladeshis and a Malaysian woman have been charged in the southeast Asian nation over abducting a fellow countryman and realising around Tk10 lakh in ransom in the southeastern town of Kajang last month.
They are also accused of demanding another Tk10 lakh while holding him hostage -- handcuffed and chained -- for a week.
Those charged at the Kajang Magistrate's Court on Friday are couple Jasim, 32, and Faridah Jeya Sly Ramesh (the local woman); Md Raihan Hosen, 28; Miah Soraf, 33; and Nusrat Jahan Bipasha, 26, reports state-run news agency Bernama.
All the five nodded their heads as a sign they understood the charges read to them by a court interpreter in Bahasa Malaysia and English before Magistrate Syahrul Sazly Md Sain.
No plea was recorded from all the accused because the scope of the case is under the jurisdiction of the High Court.
They have all been accused with a common intent to obtain the ransom detaining and wrongfully abducting 39-year-old Md Sohel Rana, from in front of a supermarket in Jalan Damai Mewah 1A on August 27.
They are being charged under Section 3 (1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961 which was read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code which provides for the death penalty or life imprisonment and if not sentenced to death, may be subject to whipping, if convicted.
The court set October 7 for re-mention of the case.
The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutor, Nurul Husna Amran while Md Raihan and Josim were represented by lawyer Tan Cheng Yee while three others were not represented.
Earlier, the media had reported that Sohel was abducted for almost one week by his compatriots and was found in a weak state in a house in Bandar Teknologi on September 2.
Sohel’s wife after the abduction transferred the sum, but the kidnappers then demanded another Tk10 lakh, according to The Star.
“The victim’s wife then contacted her husband’s employer and told him about the incident,” Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zaid Hassan said.
Shortly after the police report was lodged on September 2, ACP Mohd Zaid said police detained four suspects in front of a shop in TTDI Grove.
“The suspects then led police to a house in Bandar Teknologi Kajang. We discovered the victim handcuffed while his feet were bound by metal chains. We also arrested a woman at the house, who is the wife of one of the suspects,” he added.