No reports on kidnapping of 10 fishermen: ESSCom

18 Jun 2019 / 18:12 H.

LAHAD DATU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) has yet to receive any reports on claims that 10 Filipino fishermen were kidnapped in Sabah waters early today.

Several media outlets today reported that the 10 were abducted in waters near the Tawi-Tawi islands in the southern Philippines.

ESSCom commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali said if indeed the incident happened, it could not be ascertained as yet whether it was in Malaysian or Philippine waters.

“So far we have not received any reports (on the incident) yet,“ he said when contacted here today.

The media reports said that armed men linked to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group who came in two boats kidnapped the 10 fishermen who were also in two boats along the sea route from Tambisan, Lahad Datu to Semporna, at about 2 am today.

They were believed to have been brought to Sitangkai Island in the southern Philippines, a 15-minute boat journey from Tambisan.

Meanwhile, in KOTA KINABALU,Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal when asked about the matter said the Sabah government had proposed to the the security authorities at the federal level to set up a military camp at a suitable location in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).

Mohd Shafie, who is also the chairman of the Sabah Security Committee, said the proposal was part of efforts to further beef up security in the area for the safety of the people there, especially from cross-border crimes, including kidnappings.

The chief minister said this when approached by reporters after attending the forum “New Sabah: New Challenges, New Realities and New Opportunities” which was jointly organised by the Sabah Institute of Development Studies and the Kingsley Strategic Institute. — Bernama

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