Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — The security forces in western Mindanao are searching for five Indonesian nationals who were kidnapped in Malaysia and reportedly brought to Philippine waters.
The abduction came as an Indonesian fisherman held captive by Abu Sayyaf bandits for 115 days was rescued in Sulu last January 15.
Major Arvin John Encinas, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said that their Malaysian counterparts notified Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi about the incident that took place in waters off Tambisan in Lahad Datu, Malaysia.
Tugboat SSK 00543, a Sandakan registered vessel with 8 crew members, was initially reported missing last January 15.
Last Friday, January 17, Malaysian authorities found the tug boat at Tangusu Bay, Sabah, with three crew members.
Encinas identified the three recovered Indonesians as Abdul Latif, Daeng Akbal, and Pian Bin Janiru.
Five are still unaccounted for, identified as Riswanto bin Hayono, Edi bin Lawalopo, La Baa, Arizal Kastamiran, and Arshad bin Dahlan.
“Accordingly the three recovered crew revealed that the suspects used a grey colored boat with twin 40-horsepower engine. Six of the suspects were wearing black suits with masks,” Encinas said, citing the JTF Tawi-Tawi report.
Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi directed all units to continue the conduct of intensified intelligence monitoring in the areas that might be used by the group as their ingress point.
Encinas said JTF Tawi-Tawi would also maximize the barangay intelligence network (BIN) and fisher folks for information collection in coordination with the local government units, “to deny at all cost, the group from transporting the victims through our area.”
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