3 Indonesians Kidnapped by Suspected Abu Sayyaf in Malaysian Waters
Date 11 Juli 2016
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan asserted that his ministry will evaluate an incident where three Indonesian crew members were taken hostage by a militant group on Saturday (9/7) in the eastern coast of Sabah, Malaysia, or at the Lahad Datu waters to be exact.
I will have a meeting with Crisis Center Team in my office to evaluate seven and three Indonesian nationals who are being held hostage. We will evaluate it first, then we will inform you the results, Luhut told the reporters after a halal bihalal (a post Eid-el-Fitr gathering) with President Joko Widodo on Monday (11/7) at the State Palace Complex, Jakarta.
The large area will become an obstacle for the Indonesian Government to cooperate with Malaysian and the Philippines Governments. However, Luhut said the Indonesian Government is currently taking several integrated measures to solve the problems.
Commenting on the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf militant group that was allegedly behind the hostage, Luhut said that it is still a speculation according to the last information he received before attending the halal bihalal.
Currently, we are monitoring and communicating with the Malaysia counterpart, Luhut firmly said.
A tugboat with a crew of seven Indonesians was in waters off the east coast of Sabah, about eight nautical miles from shore, when it was attacked by armed men. After interrogating the seven Indonesian crew members, the suspects inquired who had their passports with them, and the three who did were taken into their boat, while the four who did not were left behind.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun in a press statement on Sunday (10/7) informed that the three Indonesian hostages are: 1. Lorence Koten (34); 2. Teo Dorus Kopong (42); dan 3. Emanuel (46). Three of them are from eastern Indonesia.
According to the statement from crew members who were left behind, the abductors are 5 people in the age range of 30 to 40, three of them who were carrying the M14 and M16 riffles ordered crew members to gather on the bow of the ship before abducting three Indonesian citizens who have documents.
Rashid Harun guessed Apo Mike group, a part of Abu Sayyaf militant group, is behind the latest kidnapping as well as the kidnapping of 7 Indonesian crew members in the Philippines last June. (FID/JAY/ES) (RAS/EP/YM/Naster)