Wednesday, September 23

Police finds lead on kidnapping

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KOTA KINABALU: Police have yet to receive any report on ransom demand but have found a lead on the reported kinapping of an oil palm plantation manager and his assistant by a gang of five armed men.

State Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said yesterday the kidnappers were believed to be in international waters.

“We have a rough idea of the whereabouts of the victims and efforts are being made to trace them and bring them back home safely,” he said.

He said the families of the victims have not provided any feeback on the incident and no ransom demands have been received.

Hamza said the police were working closely and had mobilized their force, which included the marine police, air wing and General Operations Force as well as assistance from Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The victims, who are cousins identified only as Tungs from Peninsular Malaysia, were abducted between 3.30 pm and 4.30pm on Wednesday from a bird’s nest house in an oil palm plantation in Timbun Mata, Kampung Manakayang, about two kilometres from the coastal area and 50km from Lahad Datu.

The 33-year-old plantation manager and his 25-year-old assistant were with two other persons at the bird’s nest house when the kidnapping gang came with sacks of what were believed to be firearms.

It was said that the abductors, who came in an outboard engine boat, robbed the manager and assistant manager of their belongings before ordering them to the boat and heading to the open sea.

The victims were said to have pleaded with the kidnappers to release them but only the other two persons who were workers were freed.

The two workers ran to the plantation office to inform the owner that his son and nephew had been kidnapped by armed men.

The owner then lodged a police report around 4.45pm the same day at Kg Cenderawashi, about 50 km from the plantation.