ROMPIN (Bernama): Due to leads hitting a dead end, the search-and-rescue (SAR) team still has not found the tourist from Finland who went missing in Pulau Tioman some 11 days ago.
Nikitin Aleksis Elis Valtteri, 20, was reported missing on Jan 22 by Jamsari Ismail, 47, who said he made the young man's acquaintance a day before the tourist disappeared.
In a bid to help the 68 officers from the Royal Malaysian Police, General Operations Force, Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Force as well as three tracking dogs find the missing man, Bernama observed a group of locals being led by someone believed to be a bomoh (shaman) enter the jungle near the Paya Beach Resort around 3pm Friday (Feb 1).
After heading the SAR operation, which was in full swing on Friday morning, Rompin district police chief, DSP Azli Mohd Noor, told Bernama that despite the lack of progress, the team will continue searching because they believe Valtteri is still on the island.
"I do not think the victim has left the island because his possessions - RM6,000, passport, visa and clothes - are still in the house he was staying at.
"We also found a plane ticket to Doha dated March 23 in his bag," DSP Azlis said.
CCTV footage from a nearby resort captured an image of Valtteri between 7am and 8.30am, on Jan 22.
Police investigations revealed the victim arrived in Malaysia on Jan 18 and came to the island on Jan 21, before he was reported missing the day after.
DSP Azli said the SAR operation has covered more than 10sq km encompassing Kg Tekek, Kg Juara, Kg Paya and Kg Gemilang. - Bernama