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Monday, July 11, 2016

Indon intelligence agency still digging for more info on kidnapping case

JAKARTA - The State Intelligence Agency, or BIN, said on Sunday (10/07) it is still digging more information on kidnapping of three Indonesians by an armed group off the coast of Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.

The Indonesian fishermen were reportedly kidnapped on Saturday around 11.40 p.m. Malaysian police identified the hostages as Lorence Koten, Teo Dorus Kopong and Emanuel all hailing from East Nusa Tenggara.

Initial reports claimed Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Apo Mike is a suspect and the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities have contacted their Philippine counterparts.

BIN chief Sutiyoso however said that the agency is still verifying information on the situation.

“We don’t know yet which group abducted the three Indonesians. We are still investigating,” Sutiyoso told the Jakarta Globe on Sunday afternoon.

According to Malaysia's regional marine police, the tugboat with a crew of seven was in waters off the east coast of Sabah on Borneo island, about eight nautical miles from shore, when it was attacked by armed men in a white boat late on Saturday.

The five armed abductors spoke in Malay and the local Suluk dialect, police added.

On June 20, seven Indonesian seamen were taken hostage in the Sulu Sea, allegedly by Abu Sayyaf militants.

The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for kidnapping and demanding millions of dollars in ransom, in April abducted a group of Malaysian sailors in the same waters, releasing them last month.

The militants abducted 10 Indonesian sailors on March 29 and another four on April 15. All were also released last month.

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