SEMPORNA: The two foreign women abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen from Singamata Reef Resort here are alive and well and are being held on an island in southern Philippines.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek said based on intelligence, the two – Chinese national Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipino resort worker Marcy Darawan – are “well”.
Esscom, he said, had identified the location where the two hostages are being held as well as the identity of the kidnappers.
One of the kidnappers is believed to be also involved in the abduction of a Taiwanese woman on Nov 15 in Pom Pom Island.
“The rest are said to be linked to the Sipadan island kidnapping (of 21 people) in 2000,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
“We believe that this particular ‘kidnap for ransom’ group is active and aggressive in the southern Philippines,” said Mohammad, adding that the local Filipino community might have provided information to the gunmen.
Mohammad said 15 of the resort’s foreign workers had been detained for not having valid documents.
The Immigration Department, he said, had been directed to carry out a full investigation and take action, including charging the resort operator, for employing foreigners without valid documents.