Wednesday, July 24

Abductors of Sabah sea gypsies have not contacted authorities, families – Police

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The sea gypsies, aged between 17 and 60, were reportedly abducted by an armed group said to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf, Omar said.  Bernama Photo

KOTA KINABALU: The armed abductors of the 10 Sabah sea gypsies have yet to contact the authorities or anyone else since the incident early yesterday morning, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said today.

“No calls have been received from the abductors as yet,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

The sea gypsies, aged between 17 and 60, were reportedly abducted by an armed group said to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf at about 2 am from two fishing boats off the Lahad Datu coast while they were going to Semporna.

It is believed that they have been taken to Pulau Sitangkai in the southern Philippines, about 15 minutes by boat from the Tambisan waters off Lahad Datu.

All the victims do not have personal identification documents and only carry a lepa-lepa letter signed by village chiefs identifying themselves as nomadic seamen.

Omar said the police have recorded statements from the six fishermen who escaped abduction.

The statements were taken at the Cenderawasih police station in Felda Sahabat Lahad Datu, he added.

These fishermen are still in Cenderawasih and the two fishing boats are still docked in the Felda Sahabat waters and are under police watch.

Meanwhile, in KUALA LUMPUR, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mazlan Mansor, when asked about developments, said Bukit Aman is awaiting word from the Sabah Police Commissioner.

“The investigation is ongoing and we are waiting for word on the developments,” he said. – Bernama