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Kidnapping victim's brother talks details of 'happy ending' to ordeal
Central News Agency
2013-12-23 11:18 PM
Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) Kidnapping victim Chang An-wei and her brother both attributed her release from captors in the Philippines to the work of a nephew of President Ma Ying-jeou who had served in the U.S. Army Special Forces. She would not be back in her home in Taipei without the help of Gene Yu, the son of the president's youngest sister Ma Li-chun, said Chang, who is also known by the name Evelyn. Recuperating in a hospital after returning to Taiwan, Chang spoke to a media outlet -- ETTV -- for the first time since she was set free Dec. 20, ending a 36-day ordeal in the southern Philippines. Despite the death of Chang's husband when they were attacked Nov. 15, her brother Chang Ta-kung thanked Yu for "a happy ending" by bringing her home. Chang told reporters that about some of the tactics used when he and Yu were negotiating with his sister's kidnappers. "(The kidnappers) are prone to emotional outbursts," he said. "If you can manage to make them lower their guard, you'll be treated better." "If you offend them, they can get quite nasty," Chang added. He said he tried to keep himself from appearing too composed when trying to save his sister, as that may have left the kidnappers feeling like they were getting "the short end of the stick" in the negotiations. Chang went to Malaysia and the Philippines to try to meet with agents of the armed group and secure his sister's release. It has been reported that the Chang family paid around NT$10 million (US$330,000) in ransom although neither the family nor authorities would offer any confirmation. Chang An-wei, 58, was abducted Nov. 15 on Pom Pom Island in the Malaysian state of Sabah while on vacation with her husband Hsu Li-min, who was shot and killed by suspected members of Abu Sayyaf, a militant group active in the south of the Philippines. She was set free in the southern Philippine province of Sulu before local authorities picked her up. Her brother on Monday produced two pieces of coconut candy wrapped in palm leaves for reporters, saying they were parting gifts given to Evelyn by her abductors. Gene Yu, 34, served in the southern Philippines as a member of the U.S. Army's elite Green Berets and happens to be a family friend of the Changs. (By Tsai Pei-chi, Huang Yi-han and Jay Chen)
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