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[AAP] AUSTRALIA – Philippine Cop Nabbed For 2011 Kidnapping Of Aussie Man
Incident Type: Kidnappings For Ransom – Arrests And Court Cases
Date/Time (UTC): 2015-05-18 21:05:00
Infrastructure Affected: Unknown
Permanent link to this event: http://www.globalincidentmap.com/beta/kidnapping-for-ransom/event/429399
“A Philippine policeman who is a cousin of one of the nation’s top Islamic militants has been arrested over the kidnapping-for-ransom of Australian Warren Rodwell. Jun Malban went on the run after he was charged with kidnapping Rodwell from his home in a southern Philippine coastal town in December 2011.”
- MAY 19, 2015 12:30AM
A FILIPINO policeman has been arrested over the kidnapping-for-ransom of Australian Warren Rodwell.
Jun Malban went on the run after he was charged with kidnapping Rodwell from his home in a southern Philippine coastal town in December 2011. He was detained in Malaysia early this month and deported back to the Philippines on Friday last week, national police anti-kidnapping unit head Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo told reporters.
The abductors posed as policemen when they seized Mr Rodwell and demanded US$2 million ($2.5 million) for his release. Mr Rodwell was released 15 months later in return for a ransom that a local politician says was worth about US$100,000, although such a payment has never been officially acknowledged by the Philippine or Australian governments. Spt Fajardo said Malban was believed to have been working with Rodwell’s kidnappers and brokered a ransom.
“Rodwell identified Malban as the negotiator of the Abu Sayyaf during his captivity,” he said.
Malban, who had worked for a southern Philippine police unit that provides bodyguards to civilians under threat, is a cousin of Abu Sayyaf leader Khair Mundos, he said. Mundos, who had a US$500,000 United States government reward on his head, was arrested in a rundown Muslim quarter near Manila airport in June last year. The US government described him as a “key leader and financier” of the Abu Sayyaf.
Mr Rodwell — a former ADF soldier and self-professed “world nomad” — looked online and abroad for love, a search that led him in to petite Filipina Miraflor Gutang, 25 years his junior. After a whirlwind romance, Mr Rodwell packed up his things and travelled to Mindanao in June 2011, one of the most dangerous places in the world for westerners. Only six months into the marriage, Mr Rodwell was relaxing at his new home near the seaside town of Ipil when he was ambushed by armed terrorists dressed as police officers and taken hostage.
“We had to walk two or three kilometres through rice fields. They were behind me trying to hit me with the butt of the rifle and kick me to move me. The guy said ‘run and we will kill you’. I was in front and by the time we eventually got to a river and into a boat, I realised I was being kidnapped.” The gunmen wore military uniforms and their M16 rifles were plastered with police insignia.
The former Australian soldier knew to stay calm and do as he was told when they forced him into a stolen community boat. Filipino police identified the al-Qaeda linked group Abu Sayyaf as being involved in Rodwell’s kidnapping. During his ordeal, Mr Rodwell’s captors moved him from island to island to elude pursuit. He was not shackled or caged but was always closely watched by the gunmen. For 15 months, Rodwell fought to stay sane amid the constant threat of being shot or beheaded. He was moved between 30 different locations within the Basilan Islands as his captors tried to evade the military and other militant groups.
Nine days before Christmas 2012, a tired and gaunt Mr Rodwell appeared in a grainy You Tube video clip, telling the world that after a year in captivity he held no hopes of rescue. “I personally hold no hope at all for being released,’’ he said. “I do not trust Abu Sayyaf. I do not trust the Australian Government. I just don’t trust anyone.” When a ransom of $94,600 was paid on February 3, 2013, the captors kept their hostage.
“The delay was that between the different levels (of the group) some people were trying to do a side deal on their own,” Mr Rodwell said. “Apparently it was at the insistence of the vice governor that they must release me otherwise he wouldn’t help them in the future with any cases.” As the tide went out on March 22 and darkness fell, Mr Rodwell was put on a boat. After about two hours at sea, he was transferred to a smaller fishing boat and taken to shore. “The fisherman paddled it to shore and told me to get out. I was told to start walking and say ‘please help me, please help me’.” He was spotted by Pagadian wharf workers in the early hours of the next morning and taken to the local police station. It was now March 23.
He was then transported to the US military base at Zamboanga for treatment before being flown Manila to recuperate. During this time he decided against a reunion with his Filipino wife, although he said he did not believe his estranged wife was involved in his abduction. “These Filipinos just love to talk. It’s quite possible that with Miraflor, being a bit loose-lipped, that might have helped with the information being disseminated about me being a foreigner and where I was living. It’s just a lack of prudence but these things happen.”
Interviewed ahead of the release of his memoir in 2014, Mr Rodwell said: “My story will certainly make it clear that I was foolish.” “As I found out afterwards there were warnings on Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade sites about the greater area but at the time I read it and put in the local context I thought it said avoid travelling in there if you’re not already there kind of thing. “I’d had experience living in areas where there tends to just be local people. I usually just do my own thing and try to blend in with the environment. I wasn’t trying to discover myself or that sort of thing. But I became complacent, which I think we all do no matter how worldly we are. Sometimes it’s hard to really determine what the dangers are.”
472 Days Captive of Abu Sayyaf — The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell — written with independent researcher Dr Bob East — is based upon recorded interviews with the AFP upon release and details how Mr Rodwell was moved between about 30 different locations within the Basilan Islands as his captors tried to evade the military and other militant groups. “Bob did a PhD on Abu Sayyaf. He has pinpointed locations I was in and added historical stuff,” Mr Rodwell said. “The book is incisive. I’m satisfied that what’s being presented is accurate enough.” The story is part warning to other intrepid travellers, part tale of resilience. “When all is said and done, what really sustains you has to be your attitude and mental health,” he said.
Founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, the Abu Sayyaf has gained international notoriety for kidnapping sprees that target locals and foreigners in the Muslim-majority southern Philippines.
The Philippines’ lowly paid police force has an enduring reputation for corruption and it is not unusual for officers to be accused of involvement in kidnappings or other crimes related to earning more money.
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Warren Rodwell waits to hear from Australian Prime Minister … thru the doodling eyes & hand of @ChrisBrakeShow USA #auspol http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3027111/Threatened-beheading-starved-held-hostage-472-days-Australian-Warren-Rodwell-fears-not-compensated-kidnapping-incident-isn-t-OFFICIALLY-terror-event.html
Warren Richard Rodwell (born June 16, 1958  Homebush NSW)  a former soldier  in the Australian Army, and university English teacher, grew up in Tamworth NSW  He was shot through the right hand when seized  from his home at Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2011  by Abu Sayyaf (ASG) militants. Rodwell later had to have a finger amputated.
The ASG threatened to behead Rodwell  if the original ransom demand for $US2 million was not paid. Both the Philippine and Australian governments had strict policies of refusing to pay ransoms. Australia formed a multi-agency task force to assist the Philippine authorities, and liaise with Rodwell’s family. A news blackout was imposed. Filipino politicians helped negotiate the release. After the payment of $AUD94,000  for “board and lodging” expenses  by his siblings, Rodwell was released 472 days later on March 23, 2013. The incumbent Australian prime minister praised the Philippines government for securing Rodwell’s release. Tribute was also made to Australian officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Federal Police and Defence.  Rodwell subsequently returned to Australia.
As part of the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Australian Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Joseph Barta was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for outstanding devotion to duty as the Assistant Defence Attaché Manila during the Australian whole of government response to the Rodwell kidnap for ransom (and immediately following, the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan). At the 2015 Australian Federal Police Foundation Day award ceremony in Canberra, fourteen AFP members received the Commissioners’ Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct for their work in support of the Philippine National Police and Australian Government efforts to release Australian man Warren Rodwell.
By the end of his 15 months as a hostage in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Rodwell had lost about 30 kilograms in weight due to starvation, His biography 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf – The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell by independent researcher Dr Robert (Bob) East was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom (2015) ISBN 1-4438-7058-7 
In January 2015, Mindanao Examiner newspaper reported the arrest of Barahama Ali  kidnap gang sub-leaders linked to the kidnapping of Warren Rodwell, who was seized by at least 5 gunmen (disguised as policemen), and eventually handed over or sold by the kidnappers to the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province.
Australian Federal Police members have been acknowledged at a Foundation Day award ceremony in Canberra.
Fourteen AFP members received the Commissioners’ Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct for their work in support of the Philippine National Police and Australian Government efforts to release Australian man Warren Rodwell, who was held captive by militants in the southern Philippines for 15 months.
In presenting the awards, Commissioner Andrew Colvin thanked all members for their commitment to the community.
“These awards are a testament to the AFP’s ability to continually achieve successful outcomes and adapt to an ever-changing environment,” Commissioner Colvin said.
“The AFP will continue to face many challenges, and looking at the calibre of our award recipients today, you will agree that we are well placed to meet these challenges.”
Threatened with beheading, starved and held hostage for 472 days, but government won’t compensate kidnapped Australian as incident wasn’t OFFICIALLY a ‘terror event’
- Australian Warren Rodwell was held hostage for 472 days and feared his Abu Sayyaf captors would behead him
- He was freed in March 2013 after his family successfully managed to raise a ransom
- Now he fears he will not receive Victims of Terrorism Overseas compensation
- Unless Prime Minister Tony Abbott decides otherwise, his kidnapping is not listed as a ‘declared terrorist event’
- ASIO has officially declared Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organisation
By Daniel Piotrowski for Daily Mail Australia Published: 16:58 EST, 6 April 2015 | Updated: 21:15 EST, 6 April 2015
He was held against his will in a foreign jungle for 472 days and feared his al-Qaeda linked captors would behead him.
Now more than two years since Australian Warren Rodwell finally staggered to freedom from the clutches of the Filipino terror group Abu Sayyaf, he believes he may be in for another fight.
In an interview with Daily Mail Australia, Mr Rodwell said he fears the Federal government will not award him Victims of Terror Overseas compensation. Under Australian law, the survivors and families of victims of overseas attacks can claim up to $75,000 in compensation. But for that to happen, Prime Minister Tony Abbott would have to declare his kidnapping a terrorist event.
Despite an official from the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) lauding his courage and referring a petition from him to Mr Abbott’s office, the kidnapping victim is sceptical it will see action.
The AGD did not place any timeframe on when he should expect Mr Abbott to decide on his case
‘The prime minister has no time for doing things like this,’ Mr Rodwell told Daily Mail Australia – who attributed part of his situation to his low public profile.
Islamist militants posing as policemen abducted Mr Rodwell from his home in the Philippines by gunpoint on December 5, 2011. He was released in March 2013 after his family managed to raise a significant ransom and has spent time since recovering from his physical and psychological injuries.
A government media blackout was enforced during his captivity. The kidnapping victim said he was a ‘little bitter’ this year that other Australians trapped overseas have obtained considerable attention, including Kalynda Davis, the Bali Nine drug smugglers and journalist Peter Greste.
‘I got no attention because I wasn’t female and I wasn’t a convicted drug smuggler and I wasn’t a recognised person in society – just one of these ordinary people.’
Some of the ‘declared terror events’ where Australian victims or families are eligible for compensation include the September 11 attacks, Bali and London bombings and the siege at the Westgate Mall in Kenya.
ASIO has officially declared Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organisation.
Mr Rodwell is hoping to use any compensation to pay back his brother and sister, who helped arrange the ransom payment that saved him. A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s Department said it does not comment on individual cases relating to the Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas Payment (AVTOP).
Mr Abbott’s office was approached for comment.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3027111/Threatened-beheading-starved-held-hostage-472-days-Australian-Warren-Rodwell-fears-not-compensated-kidnapping-incident-isn-t-OFFICIALLY-terror-event.html#ixzz3WWr0ra6o Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook