Indonesian consulate warns its citizens in Sabah to stay vigilant following Abu Sayyaf kidnapping warning

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 01 Nov 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The Indonesian consulate in Tawau has issued an alert to its nationals working in Sabah to exercise caution at all times especially when carrying out duties or activities at sea.

Chief of the Indonesian Consul-General's Office in Tawau, Sulistijo Djati Ismojo said in a statement that all Indonesians, especially those working in the fishery sector must take preventive measures to avoid becoming kidnap victims.

This came following an online article by the 'Marine Link' warning sea crews and coastal residents of an attempted kidnapping.

The article titled 'Piracy Warning Off Philippines' also stated that the Philippine Focal Point (Philippine Coast Guard) had warned that a group of approximately 10 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members armed with pistol, rifles and grenade launchers were planning to conduct kidnapping activities in undisclosed areas in Sabah, primarily targeting businessmen or ship's crew of foreign vessels passing through its waters.

The article also stated that the ASG are using unmarked coloured blue and white motor banca locally known as jungkong.

The article urged shipmasters and crew members to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters of Eastern Sabah and Sulu-Celebes seas.

Sulistijo also urged all Indonesians to abide by the warnings, rules and regulations set by the Malaysian government, including the Malaysian maritime enforcers.

"Please make sure all vessels are equipped with security features and systems as required by the Malaysian government," he said.

He also reminded them to keep in touch with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) base and to immediately report of suspicious people or activities.

Two Indonesian fishermen, who were kidnapped by Filipino gunmen in waters off Pulau Bodgaya in Semporna on Sept 11, are still in their captives' hands.

The Indonesians, Samsul Saguni, 40, and Usman Yunus, 35, are believed to have been taken across the border to the southern Philippines by kidnap-for-ransom groups working with the militant Abu Sayyaf group in Jolo.

There was a ransom demand of RM4mil for their release but it is learnt that the families have yet to come up with the money.

Meanwhile, Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said he has spoken to security forces in the east coast following a warning of piracy and kidnapping in waters off Sabah issued by the Philippines sources recently.

“We just want to make sure that the patrols and other preventive measures are beefed up. Security forces in the east coast have given assurance to increase security in our borders for the safety of locals as well as tourists,” he told reporters on Wednesday (Nov 1).  
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