The Jakarta Post
A group of five armed men are alleged to have kidnapped three Indonesians fishing in Malaysian waters late Saturday night, an official said on Sunday.
The three Indonesian men hail from East Nusa Tenggara explained Indonesian Consul in Tawau Abdul Fatah Zainal, adding that the men had been identified as tugboat captain Lorens Koten, as well a Emanuel and Teodorus Kopong, who reportedly worked as crew onboard the tugboat owned by Chia Tong Lim. The kidnapping took place in Felda Sahabat waters at midnight on Saturday in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.
The tugboat owner, Chia Tong Lim reported the kidnapping to Malaysian authorities at 4:17 a.m. on Sunday.
The tugboat was intercepted by five armed men, alleged to be Filipino, who had approached the vessel aboard a long boat. They kidnapped three Indonesian sailors, Abdul said as reported by tribunnews.com.
There had been seven crew members onboard the tugboat. Four of the crew came from East Nusa Tenggara while three were from Palau in the Philippines. Lim explained to the Indonesian Consulate Office in Tawau that the armed men had pointed guns at the crew during the raid.
"Three crew members carrying Indonesian passports were taken by the kidnappers. The remaining four, an Indonesian and three Filipinos were released because they did not have documents," Abdul said, adding that the armed men took the passports as well as mobile phones belonging to the crew.
The boat and the remaining four crew members were taken to Marobong Tungku port in Lahad Datu. No details have been released regarding the kidnappers. This incident represents the fourth case in which Indonesian sailors have been kidnapped by armed Filipino militants in recent months. Seven Indonesian sailors were taken hostage by the notorious Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Sulu Sea on June 20. (rin)
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