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Kidnap victim's family denies naming proxy for ransom talks

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The family of a Taiwanese woman kidnapped in Malaysia in mid-November denied Thursday in a statement that it has authorized any representatives to negotiate with her abductors for her release.

The family of Chang An-wei, who was taken by armed gunmen from a villa on the resort island of Pom Pom off the state of Sabah Nov. 15, also urged Malaysian and Philippine police and government authorities to make her safety the first priority.

Chang, 58, is believed to have been taken to an islet in the southern Philippines, close to the Malaysian border.

The Chang family also expressed hope that Malaysian and Philippine investigations will not jeopardize any ongoing negotiations.

It stressed that the victim's brother, Chang Ta-kung, is the only person authorized by the family to negotiate with the abductors.

The full text of the statement follows:

“The Chang family wants to express our sincere appreciation for the support the Malaysian police/government have provided in their investigations into the abduction of Chang An-wei.”

“The family wants to emphasize that any investigative action should take into consideration Chang An wei's safety and should not jeopardize any ongoing negotiations.”

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