LAHAD DATU: As the spectre of Abu Sayyaf terrorism looms over the high seas, five gunmen in a speed boat kidnapped three Indonesian fishermen in the waters off Felda Sahabat near here last night.
Lorence Koten, 34; Teo Dorus Kopong, 42; and Emanuel, 46, were among seven crew members on board a Malaysian-registered fishing trawler when the boat was intercept at about 11.40pm.
Sabah Police Commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun said the attackers were on a speed boat with five men on board, three of whom had high-powered M-14 and M-16 automatic rifles.
“The gunmen came on board and searched the vessel. They took all the mobile phones and documents, including curfew exception passes. The kidnappers later escaped with the three victims. However, four other crew members were released,” he told a press conference here today.
The kidnapping comes three months after four Sarawakians on a tug boat were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants while at sea off eastern Sabah.
The four were held in the southern Philippines and were freed last month.
Security authorities in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have pledged to work close together to end the menace of piracy and kidnappings in the waters between Borneo and and the Philippines.
The four remaining crew told police the kidnappers spoke in halting Malay, but not any local dialect, said Abdul Rashid.
No demand had yet been received from the attackers, said Abdul Rashid, who advised the public not to engage in speculation about the attack.