KOTA KINABALU: Security forces have instructed fish farm owners and managers in Semporna to move "temporarily" to the mainland following a failed kidnapping attempt near Kampung Bangau-Bangau on Monday.
"We have instructed all fish farm owners to move to the mainland as an initial approach to prevent the possibility (of further kidnap attempts)," Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said.
All routes out of Semporna have also been cut off in an intensified a hunt for seven armed men, suspected to be Filipinos, who robbed a fish farm after they failed to find the owners in the 1am incident.
Jalaluddin said that security forces under the Sabah Eastern Security Command (Esscom) were coordinating all agencies in the hunt for the group.
Police also detained eight workers aged between 12 and 43 from the farm to facilitate investigations, although only two workers witnessed the incident, he said.
"All but one of the seven men were masked," he said, adding that they were putting up a photofit of the suspect who was armed with a pistol. The others were armed with parangs.
Police also seized two company-owned handphones used by the workers.
Semporna hit by kidnap attempt