KUNAK, (June 17) — Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek believed the abduction of a fish breeder and a worker at a fish in cages breeding centre in Kampung Sapang Air here yesterday was the work on an “inside man”.
This, he said, was based on the findings that the criminals knew the area very well.
“It is an isolated area, surrounded by islands. Only those who had been at the place for along time would know the condition at the centre,” he told reporters after visiting a fish in the case breeding centre at Kampung Air Sapang here Tuesday.
He said soon after being informed of the abduction case, ESSCom ordered several assets to be sent to places identified as exit routes for the suspects involved.
“But, the suspects could have used alternatives routes that they were able to escape, and believed to be in a neighbouring country now,” he added.
Mohammad said preliminary investigation also revealed that the modus operandi of yesterday’s abduction was similar to the one which happened at Pulau Baik, Lahad Datu, last May 6.
“Both groups used the workers to look for the owners and how they (abductors) entered and left the fish breeding centres was similar,” he added.
He said ESSCom was now facing cross-border crimes which were master-minded by people who had been staying for a long tine in the state, especially in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
In the incident which occurred about 12.40am yesterday, the owner of the fish breeding centre, Chan Sai Chiun, 32, from Ipoh, Perak and a worker, known only as Mazlan, in his 20s, were abducted by two armed-men.
It is the third abduction case reported in the east coast of Sabah this year. The first was on May 6 when five armed-men abducted a manager of a fish breeding company, who is a Chinese national, at Pulau Baik in Lahad Datu, and a month later, of a Chinese national tourist at a resort in Semporna.
Following the latest incident, Mohammad once against reminded operators of resort and fish breeding projects to abide by regulations by only hiring workers in possession of valid documents.
He said ESSCom would no longer compromise with those caught violating regulations.
The “Operasi Gasak” to cleanse illegal immigrants in ESSZone area will continue, he added. — BERNAMA