Jakarta Post, Banda Aceh | Headlines | Fri, June 14 2013, 7:45 AM
ition | Page: 2
Slightly scunnered: Malcolm Primrose, 61, of Scotland (center), a contract worker for an oil company, talks to police officers after he was released by the gunmen who abducted him, in Ranto Pereulak, East Aceh, on Thursday. The British national was released unharmed after being kidnapped by four gunmen when his car was ambushed on Tuesday. (AP/Iskandar)
Armed men who abducted a Scotsman in Peureulak district, East Aceh regency, on Tuesday released the PT Medco E&P Indonesia sub-contractor worker on Thursday.
Initially, the abductors demanded a ransom of Rp 1 billion (US$101,100) for Malcolm Primrose’s freedom before increasing their demand to Rp 5 billion, Aceh Police chief spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Gustav Leo said.
Primrose was released unharmed without his family having to pay the ransom, he added.
The Scottish worker was found abandoned in Alur Kol village in Rantau Selamat district, East Aceh, at about 6 a.m., PT MedcoEnergi Internasional, the parent company of PT Medco E&P Indonesia, said in a media statement on Thursday.
“Primrose has since rejoined his family, PT MedcoEnergi corporate secretary Imron Gozali said in the release.
Medco said Primrose, an employee of PT Blade Energy Indonesia, had worked as a drilling expert for various oil and gas companies in Aceh since 1981 and had greatly contributed to oil and gas drilling activities in Aceh.
The company also conveyed its gratitude to all parties that had worked to secure the release of Primrose.
Aceh Police chief Insp. Gen. Herman Effendy, who personally led the efforts to find and rescue Primrose, had advised the family not pay the ransom.
The police, however, encouraged the family to maintain communications with the abductors so their whereabouts could be traced.
Although Primrose has been released, the police and the military are still working to locate and arrest the abductors.
“We will continue searching by combing several places we believe to be possible hideouts of the abductors,” Gustav said.
“After we received reports from the locals who found the victim, we checked the report and it was true that he had been released,” said Gustav.
Commenting on the abduction, the Aceh branch of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) demanded the government provide protection for all foreigners working in Aceh.
“The protection is to guarantee that such actions, which tarnish the Acehnese in general in the eyes of the international community, will not happen again,” said Kontras Aceh coordinator Destika Gilang.
He added that protection for foreign workers was an important parameter for foreign investors to be willing to invest in Aceh. Foreign investment was vital to economic growth after the signing of the 2005 peace accord, which ended 30 years of armed conflict in Aceh.
Medco E&P Indonesia also voiced expectation that security in East Aceh, particularly in its area of operations, would be maintained and the situation would return to normal so that the investment climate was protected.