Kidnappers freed on Thursday night a wealthy Filipino-Chinese businessman who they abducted in Jolo, Sulu, more than two months ago but authorities do have yet to determine whether ransom was paid.

Nelson Lim, owner of the Times hardware store and Plaza Panceteria restaurant, was released by his captors to Jolo Vice Mayor Edsir Tan around 11:30 p.m., Dir. Felicisimo Khu, chief of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said.

Lim’s relatives confirmed the release but details on ransom payment were not immediately available, Khu said in a text message.

The 67-year-old Lim was abducted at gunpoint by about seven rifle-wielding men at Sitio Lambayong, Brgy. Busbus, on April 29.

That night, Lim was monitored by intelligence operatives as being guarded by 12 men somewhere in Mt. Dahu, Patikul, while unconfirmed reports indicated that the abductors demanded a P5-million ransom from the businessman’s family.

Five of the abductors were initially identified by the police as a certain Jihad, Mudzrimar Sawadjaan, Ninok Sappari, a certain Namyel, and one Raden Abu.

Khu said he directed the head of the Sulu Provincial Police to exert efforts to interview Lim to get vital information on his captors and convince him to file charges. (John Roson)

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