12 tabligh members nabbed on return from Sulawesi

Members of the tabligh arriving at the Tawau CIQ after returning to Sabah after Indonesia cancelled an International Tabligh event in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

KOTA KINABALU: Security forces have detained a group of 12 tabligh members returning from a cancelled event in Indonesia and placed them in quarantine.

News of their detention came as Sabah reported 22 new Covid-9 cases today, bringing the total to 158.

Tawau police chief Peter Ambuas confirmed the detention of the 12 tabligh members from Tawau who were supposed to attend the international gathering in Sulawesi, Indonesia, which was later cancelled.

They had tried to enter Sabah waters off Tawau on a boat but ran into joint patrols of the marine police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and armed forces at around 3.20pm.

Authorities had been alerted to the return of the group in the morning after they reached Sungai Pancang in Sebatik Island, Indonesia from Sulawesi.

They were escorted to the Tawau Customs and Immigration Quarantine Center, before being handed over to National Security Council personnel.

12 tabligh members were brought by National Security Council personnel for quarantine upon arriving in Tawau. 

It is understood the 12 tabligh members are being held in quarantine at the Tawau Teachers Institute campus.

The state government recently announced that all those who wanted to return from Sulawesi would be barred from entering the state.

There are 40 cases in Tawau, 33 in Lahad Datu and 22 in Kota Kinabalu.

Kinabatangan and Sandakan have 11 cases each, Putatan and Sipitang have four cases each, Kunak and Kota Belud have five cases, Papar and Ranau have two cases each.

Semporna still has one case, Beaufort has six cases and Tuaran has 12 cases.