ZAMBOANGA CITY: Unidentified gunmen seized an elderly Chinese trader in a daring broad daylight abduction in Sirawai town in Zamboanga del Norte.
Reports said the armed suspects dragged the 60-year-old Christina Yee to a waiting pump boat that sped off toward the high seas on Monday afternoon.
Police said Yee owns the Ben Yee store in downtown Sirawai.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest abduction but this occurred despite heightened security alert in the troubled region where military forces are battling the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group.
Yee’s family did not give any statement but the police said there is an ongoing operation to track down the victim.
The province is a known lair of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels and criminal gangs blamed by authorities in previous ransom kidnappings there.
In October last year, suspected MILF rebels kidnapped Italian restaurateur and former missionary Rolando del Torchio, who owns Ur Choice Pizza House, in the village of Miputak in Dipolog City, also in Zamboanga del Norte.
Torchio, 56, was taken to Sulu province and freed in April this year after a huge ransom was paid to his captors.