Police are investigating a claim of an Indonesian skipper of a trawler boat being kidnapped by a group of four armed men in waters off Kinabatangan last Aug 3.
Sabah police commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun said this followed a report lodged by two crew members of the boat - Indonesian Aryanto Basrun, 22, and a Malaysian, Muhamadin Ratin, 26 - on the alleged kidnap yesterday.
Police are recording statements of the two crew members who claimed they were released by the abductors on the same day, but only lodged a report on it yesterday, to determine what really happened, he added.
Abdul Rashid said based on the account of the crew, three of the four alleged abductors were armed with M16 rifles and wore camouflage uniform and spoke in Malay, but with a foreign dialect.
They claimed the skipper who was allegedly kidnapped was known as Herman Mangga, 30, who holds an Indonesian passport, he added.
He said the alleged abduction occurred at 4pm on Aug 3, while they were conducting fishing activity in Malaysian waters, when their trawler boat was approached by a pump boat with four men on board, three of them armed with M16.
“The trawler boat was towed to an island off the Philippine waters, and then to another island where the two crew of the trawler boat were asked to return home.
“The abductors took away all the telecommunication equipment, including their (Aryanto's and Muhamadin's) handphones, but they were provided with GPS,” he told reporters in Tawau today.
Following their release, Abdul Rashid said Aryanto and Muhamadin claimed they managed to contact their friends, who then alerted the 15th battalion of the General Operations Force for assistance.
“The abductors are alleged to have demanded RM10,000 from the skipper’s employer,” he added.