KOTA KINABALU: Two Vietnamese fishermen sustained gunshot wounds after they were believed attacked by Filipino pirates near Banggi Island, Kudat on Tuesday.
Both victims were among 10 fishermen onboard a fishing vessel which belongs to a Sabah-registered fishing company, SK Fishing Enterprise.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said police investigation showed the incident took place in the Philippine waters near Banggi Island around 9am on October 14.
He said four suspects onboard a fishing boat approached the fishing vessel and opened fire when the skipper of the fishing vessel started the engine to escape.
“The suspects fired several gunshots, hitting the vessel and two crewmen in the process.
“The fishing vessel however managed to escape and hide behind Pulau Sepanggar before they were spotted by marine police who escorted them back to the marine jetty here in Kota Kinabalu,” he said yesterday.
Jalaluddin added police found several bullet holes on the fishing vessel, while the injured victims were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Their condition was reported to be stable.
Police investigation revealed the fishing vessel was believed to have entered Philippine waters to catch fish before the incident.
Jalaluddin said police investigation also showed the suspects were pirates who intended to steal the vessel.
“We have notified our counterparts from the Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and ESSCom to be on a look out for the suspects,” he said, adding that the case would be investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder.