Sabah cops won’t entertain ransom demands for kidnapped fishermen

Sabah police chief Omar Mammah (centre) says police will step up intelligence work involving cross-border crimes and infiltration by Islamic State and Abu Sayyaf.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police will not entertain any ransom demand from the abductors of three Indonesian fishermen in Lahad Datu last month, says state police chief Omar Mammah.

“We will not entertain the demands,” he said, disclosing that two calls were received – the first to the family of one of victims on Sept 25, two days after the kidnapping, and the other on Sept 30.

The sister of one of the victims received a call from the kidnappers, demanding a high ransom for the trio, but Omar declined to disclose the amount as investigations were ongoing.

“We are working with our counterparts in the Philippines to trace the victims who are believed to be on one of the Tawi-Tawi islands,” he told reporters after the monthly assembly at the police headquarters in Kepayan today.

The three Indonesian fishermen – Maharudin Lunani, 48, his son Muhammad Farhan, 27, and nephew Samiun Maneu, 27 – were kidnapped by seven armed men travelling in a pump boat.

The victims were catching shrimps at the Tambisan waters near Lahad Datu when they were kidnapped.

Earlier, in his speech, Omar said Sabah police will step up intelligence work involving cross-border crimes and infiltrations by Islamic State and Abu Sayyaf.

He said it was important to curb the menace as it was a matter of national security.