KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police have not received any ransom calls over the kidnapping of five Indonesian fishermen from waters off Lahad Datu on Jan 15.
State Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said they were still waiting for the latest updates on the incident from their Filipino and Indonesian counterparts.
“We don’t have information of any ransom calls and are still trying to find out who these cross-border criminals are, ” he said after a working visit to the Lahad Datu police station on Tuesday (Jan 28).
He said efforts are in place to heighten alerts and patrols in Sabah’s east coast.
“We have been increasing our presence and as reported earlier, our security forces managed to thwart some 40 attempted kidnappings since year 2018, ” Omar said.
The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) received information of the kidnapping off Tangusu Bay on Jan 17.
The Indonesians working for a Sandakan-based fishing company are believed to have been abducted by six gunmen.
The kidnapped crewmen were the trawler's skipper Arsyad Dahlan, 41, La Baa, 32, Riswanto Hayano, 27, Edi Lawalopo, 53, and Syarizal Kastamiran, 29.
It was learned that around 1pm on Jan 17, local fishermen had informed marine police in Lahad Datu that they had spotted fishing nets in the area but could not find the trawler or its crew in the vicinity.
Security forces under Esscom were dispatched to the area immediately and by 9pm, they located the trawler heading towards Tambisan before an elite Esscom squad boarded the trawler (SSK 00543) to find three crew members inside.
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