Malaysian held by Abu Sayyaf for almost 2 years back in Sabah

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06:32 PM March 21st, 2013

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By: Allan Nawal, March 21st, 2013 06:32 PM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Chinese Malaysian Pang Choon Pong returned home to Kota Kinabalu on Thursday and was reunited with his family, five days following his release by Abu Sayyaf gunmen who held him for nearly two years in Jolo, Sulu, a Sabah-based radio station reported.

Pang, 48, was flown into Malaysia from the Philippines by Malaysian authorities who accompanied him home on Thursday after some debriefing in Kuala Lumpur, the radio station said.

Pang is engaged in the fish breeding business and was visiting Sitangkai in Tawi-tawi with a Filipino business partner when he was abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Oct. 5, 2011. It turned out that the Filipino business partner, whose identity was not disclosed, had a hand in the  kidnapping, the station said. Pang was transferred to Sulu, where he was held for the next 17 months.

The radio station quoted Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman as saying Pang’s freedom was brought about by a series of negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf. But Musa was mum on whether money changed hands, the station added.

Pang said he was thankful to Malaysian officials led by Prime Minister Najib Razak and Musa for their efforts to secure his liberty.

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