Jamal Idris
Australia's Jamal Idris (C) is tackled by New Zealand's Benji Marshall (L) and Shaun Kenny-Dowall during their rugby league test match on the Gold Coast May 6, 2011. Reuters/Jason O'Brien

Former Penrith Panthers centre Jamal Idris was reportedly a victim of a kidnapping attempt while on a Contiki Tour in Vietnam.

Channel Seven reported that Idris, who is currently without an NRL club, was on a Contiki Tour in Ho Chi Minh City when he became separated from his group prior to encountering a group of kidnappers, who tried to get money from him. Fortunately, Idris escaped and immediately contacted his family, who informed the Australian Federal Police about the 25-year-old’s situation.

“These people, they were violent, they tried to extort a large sum of money,” Channel Seven reporter Liam Cox revealed on the network’s nightly news program, reports News. “Things then became physical. Jamal fought back and managed to escape this group of individuals.”

Idris’ mother Alana, contacted Contiki on Facebook, fearing the safety of her son, reports Sporting News. She posted a message saying, “it’s a matter of life and death… can’t stress the importance of this message.” Three hours later, Contiki confirmed that Idris was safe and successfully contacted his mum and authorities.

Idris was released by the Panthers at the end of the season after injury and personal issues restricted his playing-time for the club last year. "I love the game of rugby league but just at the moment I need to take some time away," Idris said in a statement in November last year, reports the ABC. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Panthers but I did not want to continue playing if I couldn't guarantee giving them 100 per cent.”

Idris, who was one of Penrith’s biggest names before calling it quits last year, has played 131 first grade games in stints at Canterbury, Gold Coast and the Panthers. Last year, the Australian rugby league star had surgery on his back, part of Idris’ setbacks over the past two seasons.