Sabah police chief says Abu Sayyaf threat is present, adding district police chiefs have authority to issue permits for fishing activities or travel in zone.
KOTA KINABALU: The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) which was supposed to end tomorrow has been extended to April 4, Sabah police commissioner Ramli Din said today.
He said with the extension those living in the affected areas are requested to stay in their houses and banned from entering the waters from 6pm to 6am.
“The curfew involves the districts of Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran,” he said in a statement.
Ramli said the curfew had to be extended to ensure the waters were not being encroached by terrorists for the safety of international researchers conducting research and tourists visiting the island resorts.
Based on information received, he said, the Abu Sayyaf terrorists and other criminal elements from southern Philippines were still trying to carry out kidnapping for ransom and committing transborder crimes.
Ramli said the curfew was also imposed to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat movements so that chalet owners and fishermen felt secure and confident with the presence of security personnel in the vicinity.
“I have also given the district police chiefs in the ESSZone, the authority to issue permits to allow those who qualify to conduct fishing activities or travel within the curfew areas,” he said.