Esszone curfew extended until Jan 30

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali. -filepic

KOTA KINABALU: The curfew in waters off seven districts under the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) has been extended to Jan 30, amid continued threats over cross border criminal activities.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said the dawn-to-dusk sea curfew will cover waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

The curfew, which was scheduled to end on Jan 15, prohibits people from being out at sea and entering the state between 6am and 6pm, unless they obtain permits from respective district police.

Comm Hazani said that the curfew has been extended to ensure the safety of people within the areas from possible threats of kidnapping for ransom by militant groups like Abu Sayyaf operating in southern islands of a neighbouring country.

He said police have information that kidnap for ransom groups were continuously trying to infiltrate eastern Sabah borders.

Hazani said the curfew order was also to facilitate the enforcement and monitoring of boat movements, while the presence of security vessels would create a sense of security for chalet operators and fishermen in the area.

District police chiefs in the affected areas have been authorised to issue permits to those applying for fishing activities and to attend to urgent matters during the curfew, he said.

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