Abu Sayyaf harassing for ransom, say families of hostages

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Oct 2016

An image sent by the Abu Sayyaf group shows four hostages who were snatched from the waters off Lahad Datu, Sabah. The ones who could be identified were (second left) Tayudin Anjut and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail (centre). - File pix

TAWAU: The families of five men, who were kidnapped in Dent Haven waters off Lahad Datu in July, are claiming that the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the southern Philippines is harassing them for ransom.

Gustiah Sultan, 46, the wife of Tayudin Anjut, 45, one of the victims, said the families had been receiving endless calls from them over the payment. 

"The last call we received was at 4.19pm last Wednesday (Oct 12) asking for ransom totalling RM2mil within four days. 

"They threatened that they will behead the victims if the money is not paid...but we pleaded for more time," she told reporters here Tuesday.

Gustiah, who spoke on behalf of the families, said they were at their wits end and hoped to get all the help they could so that the victims could return home safely. 

The five victims, all Malaysians, were crew members of a tugboat. 

Apart from Tayudin, the others held were Abd Rahim Summas, 62; Fandy Bakran, 26; Mohamad Jumadil Rahim, 23, all from Lahad Datu, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32, from Felda Jengka 7, Pahang. 

Gustia also said the families feared the worst as they learnt that Abd Rahim had been separated from the others. 

"When my husband called, he told my nephew that they had taken Abd Rahim away, and did not know where he was brought to," she added. 

The victims’ tugboat, the Serudong 3, was hijacked by the group as it was passing Dent Haven waters while on its way to Semporna from Sandakan. 

The tugboat was later found aground on a sand bank in the area with the crew missing and their quarters ransacked. 

The Abu Sayyaf group, noted for their kidnap-for-ransom activities, brought the victims to their hideout in Mindanao island in the southern Philippines. - Bernama

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