Suspected kidnappers of Irish missioner Michael Sinnott. Police in Zamboanga City also released a photo of the second man (from left) who is also one of several suspects in the kidnapping April 4, 2010 of Swiss Filipino Charlie Reith.
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / April 22, 2010) – Gunmen who were tagged as behind the kidnapping last year of an Irish Catholic priest could be holding a Swiss Filipino in the southern Philippines.
Police have released three photographs of alleged captors of Charlie Reith,
but it did not give details or report on the progress of the search for the 72-year old victim who was kidnapped on April 4 from his beach house in Zamboanga City.
One of the three photographs was previously tagged by the police as behind the kidnapping of Irish missioner Michael Sinnott in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province in October last year.
Sinnott, 80, was freed two months later after private negotiators paid huge ransom to the kidnappers, believed to be Moro rebels who originally demanded two million dollars for the priest’s safe release.
Officials said at least 8 armed men stormed Reith’s beach house in Patalon village and seized him. His friend, German national Karl Reichling, managed to fight off the raiders.
Reith’s father was married to a Filipino woman and he owns a vast track of land in Zamboanga City.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for Reith’s kidnapping and police would not say whether the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels or Abu Sayyaf militants were behind it.
But the military tagged MILF sub-leader Malista Malanca and Abu Sayyaf commander Khair Mundos as responsible for the kidnapping. Authorities have linked both groups to previous kidnappings and terrorism in Zamboanga.
Kidnappings-for-ransom in Zamboanga City were not uncommon. Many foreigners and wealthy traders had been kidnapped in the past and released after their family paid ransom. Among those kidnapped in Zamboanga City were Taiwanese, Belgian, German and Chinese citizens. (Mindanao Examiner)