KOTA KINABALU: Cross-border criminals, including Abu Sayyaf members from the Philippines, are hiding in islands bordering Malaysian and international waters, believed to be waiting for an opportunity to slip into Sabah, says the state police commissioner.
Datuk Hazani Ghazali said the police intelligence indicated that there were still attempts to enter the state despite the patrols and operations against cross-border criminals conducted there.
The most recent crackdown, in Beaufort on May 17, saw five ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) members killed at a mangrove swamp squatter colony after they were believed to have fired at security forces.
Earlier on May 8, eight others along with their wives and children were arrested.
“We are also continuing our operations to find the remaining ASG members who might still be hiding in Sabah, ” Hazani said.
He said many ASG members were fleeing to Sabah due to the aggressive military offence against this group in the Philippines.
“We are doing what we can to make sure that they won’t be able to turn Sabah into a safe haven for themselves, ” he said.
Hazani also added that these operations were conducted together with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and other security forces.