TAWAU: The gunmen who kidnapped four Indonesian sailors in international waters on Friday evening were believed to have acted aggressively.
One of the six crew members in the tugboat was injured when the gunmen opened fire on the sailors.
Acting representative of Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia Tawau, Abd Fatah Zainal said it was understood that the intrusion occurred involving a group of armed kidnappers on a tugboat in international waters near Mataking, Semporna, on its way from Manila to Banjarmasin, Indonesia after dispatching coals at Manila.
Fatah said the injured crew was now being treated at Tawau General Hospital while another four crew members were in Lahad Datu while another crew was assisting in investigation in Semporna.
The four kidnapped crew members were the tugboat skipper, helmsman, chief officer and aide.
“We are now at Semporna police station to see a preliminary report on the case and we are also allowed by the Esscom to meet the four crew members in Lahad Datu.”
The other five crew members who escaped are Yohanis Serang, Sembara Octapia, Leornad Bastian, Rohaidi and Royke Fransy.
The injured crew was known as Lambos Simanungkalit and served as an ‘oiler’ in the tugboat.
The four armed gunmen were believed to have boarded the tugboat before firing.
It is learnt that they also hit and kicked the crew members on the tugboat.
“All communication devices in the tugboat were also damaged by the gunmen before they kidnapped the four crewmen,” Fatah said.
According to him, the gunmen were heavily armed and dressed in ordinary shirt and camouflage trousers without masks.
The Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia in Tawau is in the process of contacting all the families of the victims in Indonesia.
At the same time they also act as counsellors of the victims here.