Sabah’s sea curfew extended until March 21


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will continue to implement its dusk to dawn sea curfew and has extended it from March 6 until March 21.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah said the extension of the 6pm to 6am sea curfew was needed due to continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including from kidnap-for-ransom groups.

The curfew covers areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

He said there was a need to continue the curfew in these areas to prevent the encroachment of terrorists and criminals who can threaten the safety of locals, international researchers and tourists on islands.

“According to intelligence sources, kidnap-for-ransom groups and Abu Sayyaf militants are still trying to attack and commit cross-border crimes,” he said in a statement Sunday (March 5).

“The curfew allows authorities to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and are staying near the Esszone,” he said.

The police commissioner said the curfew is to also facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the areas involved as well as establish a sense of security with nearby chalet owners and fishermen through the presence of a security team.

All district police chiefs have been allowed to issue permits to any eligible applicants who fit the criteria to conduct fishery activities in the curfew zones, he added.

The curfew was first implemented on July 19, 2014, following a spate of kidnappings which saw the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then Ted Fen and the killing of several others, including a policeman and tourists.

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