Malaysiakini News

Three kidnapped Indonesian fishermen return safely to Jakarta

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Three Indonesian fishermen who were freed by the Abu Sayyaf group arrived safely in Jakarta today.

The Indonesian consul-general in Kota Kinabalu, Akhmad DH Irfan, said there was no monetary ransom paid to the kidnappers to secure the release of the three men.

"The three Indonesians who are in good health, took an Indonesian military aircraft with our Defence Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu.

"I could not say what time they had arrived in Jakarta and it was learnt their flight was direct from the Philippines," he told Bernama when met at his office today.

According to Akhmad, it was understood Ryamizard had met with the Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sept 15 in Manila and held discussions with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) for the release of their three nationals.

He said the three Indonesians were freed by Abu Sayyaf group on Saturday in Zamboanga, the Philippines and handed over to Ryamizard the next day.

The victims, identified as Lorence Koten, 34, Teo Dorus Kopong, 42, and Emanuel, 46, were kidnapped on July 9 while fishing about 3.6 nautical miles from Kampung Sinakut, near Lahad Datu.

Akhmad thanked Malaysian authorities especially the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and the police which were involved in the investigations of the three Indonesians.

He also welcomed the proposal by Sabah police commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun that all fishing boats be equipped with the Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Akhmad also proposed that fishermen in the state, locals or Indonesians, carry out their fishing activities in groups.

The move would enable fishermen nearby to give help or contact the nearest authorities if their friends were confronted by criminals in Malaysian waters including kidnappers, he added.

- Bernama

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