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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Abu Sayyaf's Apo Mike behind kidnapping of four

KOTA KINABALU - The four Sarawakians kidnapped on April 1 were released on Tuesday after long drawn and tense negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf led by sub-commander Apo Mike, said Jolo-based anti-kidnapping activist Prof Octavio Dinampo.

Brothers Wong Teck Kang, 31, and Wong Teck Chii, 29, their cousin, Johnny Lau Jung Hien, 21, and Wong Hung Sing, 34 - were released near the coastal village of Patikul on Tuesday night.

It is understood that the four arrived in Sandakan on Wednesday morning.

Octavio said the release came after a series of tense negotiations between intermediaries for the gunmen and Filipino-Malaysian negotiators over the past week.

He said the four were held by an Abu Sayyaf sub-commander, known as Apo Mike whose real name is Majan Sahidjuan.

Apo Mike was believed to have led the gunmen to grab the four seamen from a tugboat in international waters off Pulau Ligitan in Sabah’s east coast Semporna district.

Five other Indonesian crewmen were not taken in the 6.15am incident on April 1.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had ordered all agencies including Wisma Putra and the police to take all necessary steps to secure the safe release of the four sailors.

He had also given his personal assurance to their families the government would all to get the sailors home safely.

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