5 Malaysians believed kidnapped in Sabah waters
Five Malaysian sailors, reported missing from a tugboat off Lahad Datu waters on Monday, might have been kidnapped.
“We do not rule out the possibility of the five being kidnapped,” Sabah Police Commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun told reporters in Lahad Datu on Tuesday.
He said that no calls were received by the families of the crew of the tugboat, which was found listing in Sabah waters.
Rashid also dismissed talk that the owner of the tugboat had received a call late Monday and that the kidnappers had demanded P200 million (US$4.27 million) and had also spoken to the victims.
“There has been no calls,’” he said. He said they were still investigating the disappearance of the five crewmen, who have been identified as Sabahans Abd Rahim Summas, 62, Mohd Zumadil Rahim, 23, Fandy Bakran, 26, Sarawakian Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32, from the peninsula.
Fears are growing that the five have been kidnapped by a notorious southern Philippines-based kidnap for ransom group.
Rashid said that all aspects of the “disappearance” of the five were being investigated.
It is not known what time or where they were abducted but their empty tugboat Serundung3 was found at 2pm on Monday listing in waters off Dent Haven in Tambisan area of Lahad Datu, close to the sea border with the Tawi Tawi chain islands in southern Philippines.
The owner of the company, a 66-year-old from Tawau, reported to police that his crew was missing and that his company officials were informed by other sailors from Sabah Tugboats that Serundung3, with its engine running, was spotted in Dent Haven waters.
The owners said that the vessel towing the barge Serundung4 had sent from Semporna a load of stones to Sandakan and was on its way back to Semporna.
The vessel was scheduled to arrive back in Semporna at 8am Monday.
On July 9, cross border kidnappers snatched three Indonesians crewmen of a Lahad Datu registered fishing trawler in Tambisan waters./rga
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