Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the gunmen had also allowed Thien, 50, and Bernard, 39, to speak to their family members.
Jalauddin said the ransom demanded by the gunmen was large but declined to state the amount.
He said the two captives, who were abducted from the seaside Ocean King seafood restaurant, some 3kms from Sandakan town, on May 14 were now held at a southern Philippines island.
“They are unharmed,” said Jalaluddin, adding that the families of the two had refused to lodge police reports about the ransom demand calls.
When asked whether the families were issued threats of not involving the police to secure the their release, Jalaluddin said: “I am not aware of such threats.”
He said prior to the incident, Malaysian security forces had been on the alert after receiving information that kidnap for ransom groups were planning to stage an abduction in Sandakan.
Jalaluddin said the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), led by Deputy Comm Rashid Harun, had been carrying out security operations at various “hot spots” and areas known to harbour illegal immigrants in the east coast district.
“Unfortunately, the abduction occurred in an unanticipated area,” he added.
Jalaluddin said police and Esscom officials were reviewing their strategies to ensure such an incident did not recur.
He said the ongoing 7pm to 5am sea curfew at six east coast districts had been extended until June 2.
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