Sabah's east coast sea curfew extended to June 19

KOTA KINABALU: The dusk-to-dawn sea curfew has been extended for 14 days to June 19 amid continued security concerns over lurking cross border criminal elements.

Sabah police commissioner Comm Datuk Jauteh Dikun said that the sea curfew will involve the east coast districts of Sandakan, Beluran, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

He said the curfew from 6pm to 6am was being extended due threats from cross-border criminals including from kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) groups linked to the Abu Sayyaf.

It was also in place to ensure the safety of the maritime community, tourists and international researchers at the island in the east coast districts.

"Our intelligence sources are indicating that KFR and the Abu Sayyaf group were still attempting to enter the country’s waters and carry out kidnapping activities as well as other cross-border crimes," he said in a statement Sunday (June 4).

He said the curfew in place since 2014 also helped security forces in ensuring the safety of Sabahans living on land in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone).

"We will be able to enforce the law and monitor the movement of vessels as well as create a sense of security and confidence among chalet operators and fishermen through the presence of security vessels implementing this curfew," Comm Jauteh said.

Respective district police chiefs issue permits to fishermen to conduct fishing activities or move around the area during the curfew hours, he added.

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