KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian officials are working with their security counterparts in the Philippines to secure the freedom of two women kidnapped from a Semporna resort dive resort 12 days ago.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohamad Mantek said both Chinese tourist China tourist Gao Huayuen, 29, and hotel worker Marcy Darawan, 40, were safe.
“We cannot provide more information at this time as it could affect efforts in getting them released,” he said here yesterday.
Both Gao and Marcy were abducted from the Singamata Reef Resort on April 2.
Security officials in the Philippines believed that their captors had taken them to the southern island of Jolo known as that country’s “kidnap capital”.
They were kidnapped by seven gunmen who were believed to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf militant group.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said on Thursday that Malaysian authorities had received a note stating that the kidnappers wanted 500 million pesos (RM36.4mil) for Gao’s release.
He had also said that a team had been despatched to meet the purported middleman of the kidnappers to discuss reducing the ransom amount.