Esscom: 232 arrests in 6,118 checks since Marawi conflict

Musa-AmanKOTA KINABALU: Esscom, the East Sabah security command, has conducted 6,188 checks and made 232 arrests in joint operations since the start of the armed conflict in Marawi, in southern Philippines.

Esscom also intensified its monitoring and inspection during the curfews in May and June, said Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.

He was replying to a question from Mohamad Alamin (BN-Bongawan) in the state assembly today.

He said Esscom also took long-term measures to strengthen security along Sabah’s border through trilateral cooperation involving the Philippines and Indonesia.

“All three countries have agreed to create a high-level committee to enable three-way cooperation and to develop a joint information centre, including an exchange of officers, to enhance maritime domain awareness.

“The countries have also agreed to conduct scheduled training to build interoperability and strengthen intelligence cooperation,” he said.

Malaysia also set up a maritime command centre in Tawau in June, while similar centres were opened at Bongao, in the Philippines, and Tarakan in Indonesia.

“The maritime command centre is a new organisation placed under the direct administration of the Joint Duties Forces Commander 2,” Musa said.

The centre is used for data gathering and to coordinate the movement of vessels on Sabah’s east coast, especially in the Sulu and Sulawesi seas, to curb piracy and kidnappings.

Musa said the Malaysian armed forces had taken aggressive measures to secure the country’s borders in the east coast, doubling the navy’s existing fleet of three ships and adding three CB 90 assault boats in the north zone and two in the south sector.

Malaysia also installed 13 radars off Kudat pointed towards the Philippines-Malaysia border and stationed quick reaction forces in strategic areas to intercept, inspect and detain suspicious boats, he added.