Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman says that the kidnappers are moving Lance Corporal Zakia Aleip (left) around to avoid being caught by the Philippine security forces. — File pic
Communications between kidnapped police personnel Lance Corporal Zakia Aleip and his wife have to be controlled following “intervention” by several other groups.
“They are hampering our efforts to bring Zakia home,” said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman.
He, however, did not disclose the identity of the “other groups”.
Speaking to reporters after attending a briefing at the Sabah police headquarters in Kepayan for some 600 police personnel who would be deployed for the Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Sabah next week, Jalaluddin said the kidnappers were moving Zakia around to avoid being caught by the Philippine security forces.
“They are also not negotiating the ransom,” he said.
On July 12, 2014, armed gunmen ambushed the Mabul Water Bungalows Resort, off Semporna. In the ambush, Zakia’s colleague, Corporal Ab Rajah Jamuan, was killed.
Following the incident and several other spate of cross border crimes, a dusk to dawn curfew in Sabah’s east coast districts was introduced.
Jalaluddin said the curfew, which expires tomorrow, had been extended for the 13th time until Feb 10, adding that it was necessary based on intelligence reports that the intruders were still planning attacks on the state’s borders.
In addition, he said, resort operators and fishermen associations had called for the curfew to be continued, expressing their satisfaction and security it brought, with some suggesting it should stay permanently.
Jalaluddin said the curfew was introduced to ensure the safety and security of the people along the coast and tourists in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone), and to facilitate surveillance of cross border activities, including trafficking in humans, drugs and weapons.
The curfew was first introduced from 6pm to 6am on July 16, 2014, following spate of kidnappings in the east coast of Sabah in the six districts under Esszone — Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau.
It has been extended every two weeks since, and recently shortened to 10 hours from 7pm to 5am beginning Aug 18.