Suspect in Abu Sayyaf kidnappings in Sabah nabbed in Tawi-Tawi
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Police announced Wednesday the arrest of a man who they described instrumental in the transfer of Abu Sayyaf captives from the nearby east Malaysian state of Sabah to Sulu.
Chief Supt. Noel delos Reyes, the police chief of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Mobin Hailil, alias Apo Kahumbo, 44, was apprehended in Sanga-sanga in Tawi-Tawi after he was found carrying a .45-caliber pistol, bullets and a grenade while being pat-checked at a mobile checkpoint on Tuesday.
He said Hailil was acting suspiciously, which was why the authorities decided to check him out.
He would be charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
The PNP’s Anti Kidnapping Group (AKG) said it got intelligence information that Hailil was an Abu Sayyaf member operating in Tawi-Tawi.
Chief Insp. Arthur Valdez of the AKG, however, said they were still trying to determine which particular kidnapping Hailil was involved in but intelligence reports indicated he took part in Abu Sayyaf kidnapping activities in Sabah.
Valdez said that because he was a good navigator, Hailil was instrumental in bringing kidnap victims from Sabah to Sulu.
“There was no particular incident of kidnapping case we handled that alluded to Hailil or Apo Kahumbo, but among the intelligence communities he is known as the receiver of kidnap victims from Sabah, Malaysia prior to their transfer to Sulu,” Valdez said.
Delos Reyes said the ARMM police was not sure if Hailil was indeed an Abu Sayyaf member.
“I cannot say (for certain) that he is an Abu Sayyaf but he is a suspected member,” he said.
Hailil was the second Abu Sayyaf suspect to fall in the ARMM this week.
On Monday, Jauhari Idris, alias Jal, was arrested in Basilan on the basis of a warrant issued by a court in Isabela City. He faces charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Idris is being detained at the Western Mindanao police office’s holding cell.
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