Advisory warns Indonesians in Sabah of kidnapping risk
Last Update: 03/09/2019
KOTA KINABALU, 3 Sept -- A letter of notification was issued by the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (KJRI) here regarding the movement of armed groups from southern Philippines in connection with kidnapping for ransom on the east coast of Sabah.
The notification is to warn about 300,000 Indonesians nationals in the state to be vigilant and cautious while at sea.
Krishna Djelani, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kota Kinabalu, said the warning was important to ensure that Indonesians especially those working as fishermen and crew members of ships took safety precautions and not fall victim to kidnapping.
This is because from 2000 to last year, more than 20 kidnapping cases involved Indonesians with the death of nearly 40 people, Krishna told Bernama when met at his office here today.
“We were initially informed that there was a movement of armed groups from southern Philippines that had to do with kidnapping for ransom. Any information that we receive, we have to warn the Indonesians there as a precaution, lest they become victims (of abduction).
“Our only intention (to issue the notification) is to warn our citizens to be careful,” he said.
The letter which has gone viral since yesterday morning said three Abu Sayyaf groups were reported to have moved into the waters of eastern Sabah on Aug 30, with the intention to kidnap by targeting several ships, namely Kapal Batubara, Kapal Tanker, Nelayan Kapal Lengkong and Kapal Tarik Udang.
The letter stated several places or regions targeted by the terrorists, namely Bakongan, Bahala, Sandakan, Mamiang, Tambisan and Taganak.
Krishna said the notification was not new as they have previously issued such letters of warning about unpredictable weather conditions and huge waves besides meeting Indonesians in Sabah such as in Sandakan, Kudat, Tawau, Semporna and Lahad Datu to remind them to always put safety first.
He also urged employers and boat owners not to assign Indonesians to the waters involved as there were employers who do not want to be held responsible if their workers were kidnapped.
Meanwhile, Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) Commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali when contacted yesterday said that until now no movement was detected by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and they would continue to be vigilant and prepared for any threats.
Hazani said ESSCom was also aware of the letter which was viralled and had contacted the Philippine security forces to track down the movements of the group.