X Close

Nation

Published: Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 8:55:37 AM

Police: Perpetrators may have had inside help

SEMPORNA: Police believe that the group that abducted two people in Semporna had inside help.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said anyone wanting to enter the resort area had to be brought in or let in by a staff member of Singamata Reef Resort.

The gunmen also appeared to have been familiar with the area and the operations of security forces there.

Apart from landing at the quiet end of the seven-building L-shaped resort, the gunmen chose a time when police personnel would usually go out in their boats to patrol the area, resort director Tong Goh Kung said.

Tong said some of his staff jumped into the sea after they noticed the armed men.

“The whole thing lasted about three to five minutes only,” he said after briefing state Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming. Pang was accompanied by an officer from the China Consulate He Yii Fanto.

Keeping things secure: A police patrol boat is parked alongside the Singamata resort. —NORMIMIE DIUN/The Star
Keeping things secure: A police patrol boat is parked alongside the Singamata resort. —NORMIMIE DIUN/The Star

Comm Hamza said police were tracking down the seven gunmen.

“It looks like kidnap-for-ransom groups are behind this. One group abducts the victims and then sells them to other groups,” he said, adding that police were recording the statements of the 49 resort workers and 61 tourists (59 Chinese, one Iranian and one Malaysian).

Police believe that Chinese tourist Gao Huayun – who arrived at the Singamata Reef Resort with a friend on April 2 for a diving course - might have been randomly picked by the gunmen.

The gunmen also escaped with Filipino Marcy Dayawan @ Mimi.

On landing at the resort’s rear entrance, the group entered Mimi’s room and grabbed her before fleeing during the 10.30pm incident on Wednesday.

“As they were running towards their boat, they grabbed Gao,’’ Comm Hamza told reporters in Kota Kinabalu.

“I was told the Chinese girl was screaming and saying in English ‘I don’t want to go’,’’ Comm Hamza said, adding that no shot was fired.

However, a Chinese daily reporter, claimed that he heard gunshots during the incident.

Related stories:

Cook: They were screaming for help

KL and Manila in hunt for gunmen

Gao's mum gets sms just before attack

RM11.5mil the usual price for non-Filipino hostages

Websites show Singamata still popular with tourists

PM: Abduction may be a deliberate act to complicate things with China

No fear, the tourists are still coming

Malaysia-China relationship will remain strong, says Liow

Tags / Keywords: Singamata Reef Resort, Semporna resort kidnap, Gao Hua Yuan, Marcy Dayawan, Mimi

advertisement

  1. Islamic State video claims to show beheading of U.S. journalist
  2. Cops detain 15-year-old teenager for allegedly raping mother
  3. Anger over drinking water with faecal bacteria goes viral
  4. A black Friday for Malaysians
  5. Hacker targets info on MH370 probe
  6. MRT Corp CEO quits over fatal incident at construction site
  7. Armoured vehicle overturns, two soldiers killed
  8. Respect current leadership, Zahid tells Dr Mahathir
  9. Bacteria in your drinking water
  10. To wear scarf or not to wear scarf

advertisement

advertisement