Two Indonesian fishermen were abducted early Tuesday off the east coast of the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah by men believed to be part of a southern Philippine group seeking ransom, a police official said.
The kidnapping was the first one reported in the Sulu and Celebes seas since March 2017, according to a Singapore-based agency that combats piracy on the high seas. The fishermen were taken around 12:30 a.m. near Gaya island off Malaysia’s Semporna district, according to Sabah acting Police Commissioner Omar Mammah.
“The two fishermen were kidnapped by two suspects carrying M16 rifles, who had boarded their fishing boat and took them to an unknown location,” he said during a press conference in Kota Kinabalu. Two crewmates hid and were not captured.
“We believe the kidnapping case is related to a kidnap-for-ransom group, however, we still haven’t received any ransom demand. We also are not yet discounting the case as a terror-related one.”
The victims were identified as boat skipper Samsul Saguni, 40, and his assistant, Usman Yunus, 35, Omar said.
A crewmate who identified himself as Bakri said he believed the kidnappers were from the southern Philippines because they spoke Suluk, a Philippine dialect.
Full story: BenarNews
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.