Technology helped police track down kidnap suspects, says former investigator
- POSTED: 10 Jan 2014 18:34
- UPDATED: 11 Jan 2014 00:09
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A former investigator with experience in kidnapping cases believed the police had been able to leverage extensively on technology in the build-up to the arrest of the suspected kidnappers of Sheng Siong chief executive Lim Hock Chee's mother.
SINGAPORE: A former investigator with experience in kidnapping cases said the police deserve to be applauded for nabbing the suspected kidnappers of Sheng Siong chief executive Lim Hock Chee's mother within just 12 hours.
Mr Lionel de Souza personally worked on three such cases in the 60s and 70s.
He said the two suspects were disorganised, and failed to look into minute details.
Mr De Souza also believed the police had been able to leverage extensively on technology, such as phone-tracking equipment, in the build-up to the arrests.
He said: "It was a service to the police and a disservice to the kidnappers. Today's situation… compared to my time, we were nowhere.
"What we needed were good informants, good intelligence, that's all. But today with all these high-tech equipment, maybe it was the plus for them (police)."
The alleged kidnappers were also likely to have used a low-cost mobile phone to communicate with Mr Lim, according to National Technological University’s Associate Professor Peter Chong.
He believed this allowed the police to quickly track down the kidnappers.
Mr Lim had reportedly received up to 40 phone calls from the suspects to negotiate and arrange the ransom during the ordeal.
Assoc Prof Chong, who has researched phone tracking methods, believed the suspects would have used a phone that was not GPS-enabled to avoid police attention.
But he said the high number of phone calls made would have helped the police in determining their locations.
Assoc Prof Chong explained: "If you make a phone call, then somehow, some of your signals will arrive at nearby base stations, maybe one or two. So based on these two, the police can roughly identify the area.
"The more often you get a call, (the) more information (you get). So after that, you can collect all this information and average this information; it will be more accurate, for sure."