KOTA KINABALU: The dusk-to-dawn curfew on Sabah's east coast has been extended by another two weeks to Aug 14, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din.
He said the decision to extend the curfew was made based on continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including from kidnap-for-ransom groups.
Comm Ramli said the 6pm to 6am curfew has been extended for the 94th time, and will cover areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.
"There is a need to continue the curfew in these waters to prevent the encroachment of terrorists and criminals who can threaten the safety of locals, international researchers and tourists on islands," he said.
Ramli said according to intelligence, kidnap-for-ransom groups and Abu Sayyaf militants are still trying to commit cross-border crimes.
“We also want to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and are staying near the Esszone,” he said in a statement on Sunday (July 29).
Ramli added that the curfew was to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the area as well as establish a sense of security with nearby chalet owners and fishermen through the presence of a security team.
"I have also given the authority to all district police chiefs to issue permits to any eligible applicants who fit the criteria to conduct fishery activities in the areas affected by the curfew." he said.The curfew was first implemented on 19 July 2014 following a series of kidnappings which saw the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then Ted Fed and the killing of several others, including a policeman and tourists.
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