Sabah, Sarawak police deny child kidnapping claims after viral videos

KOTA KINABALU: Police in Sabah and Sarawak have shot down claims in several viral videos and voice messages that kidnapping of children had purportedly occurred in remote areas in the two states.

Sabah’s Kota Marudu district police chief Supt Zairolnizal Ishak and his counterpart in Sarawak, Simunjan acting OCPD Asst Supt Honchin Ludu both issued separate denials over the videos and voice messages that apparently were taken out of context over police investigations into birds’ nest thefts.

It was believed the videos and voice messages started making the rounds in social media, including in WhatsApp, since Wednesday (Sept 28).

To add more to the confusion, social media users have reported that they received the videos (originating from Sarawak) and voice messages (originating in Sabah) together.

It turned out that the videos, in which a man can be seen lying on the ground with his hands tied with a string, took place in Kampung Sungai Ladong in Sebuyau, Simunjan.

However, ASP Honchin denied claims in postings which accompanied the videos in social media that the man was involved in kidnapping children.

“The claims are baseless because the photos and videos involved a break-in on a birds’ nest house that took place on Tuesday (Sept 27) in Kampung Sungai Ladong.

“The case is being investigated under Section 457 of the Penal Code for theft and housebreaking where two suspects have been arrested,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile in Kota Marudu, the voice messages warned people to be on the alert against two child kidnappers who were on the run and being hunted by the authorities in Kampung Beliajung and Kampung Teritipan.

To this, Supt Zairolnizal said the claims were also untrue, saying police had detained two suspects at 6.30pm on Wednesday (Sept 28) at Kampung Beliajung.

“But that was for stealing birds’ nests,” he said when contacted on Thursday (Sept 29).

Towards this end, he advised the people to stop spreading the messages as they contained false information which could disrupt public peace.

He warned that any individual caught sharing fake news could be probed and charged under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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