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Esscom's decision to release list of wanted criminals in Sabah hailed

The Home Ministry welcomed the Eastern Sabah Security Command's (Esscom) decision to release a list of 23 most wanted men for cross-border crimes and kidnappings in Sabah.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the activities of the 23 suspects had been monitored since they are believed to have links or connection with terrorists involved in the Lahad Datu incident last year.

"Such action need a close cooperation with the people so that they can inform or contact Esscom or the police if they came across any of the individuals in the list.

"They are dangerous individuals who can be a threat to the security of Sabah and we must therefore monitor those who have links with them. Anyone found to have any form of connection with the list of wanted suspects would be detained immediately," he told reporters after opening the Johor Future Run Programme at Plaza Angsana in Johor Baru today.

He said many of the suspects wanted for cross-border crimes have their roots in Sabah through families and friends who have relocated to Sabah.

However, the authorities are aware and have identified those related to such criminals and would continue to monitor them closely, he said.

Meanwhile, speaking of funds provided by the Open Society Foundation (OSF), a foundation set up by American businessman George Soros to several non-governmental organisations, including the Bar Council, Nur Jazlan police had been monitoring the funds for the past 10 years.

"OSF has been providing funds for the past 10 years and the government has been monitoring such activities but there are no concrete evidence that NGOs in the country are involved in activities that can disrupt the peace of the country by using the funds.

"The matter is still being investigated," he said.

He said the modus operandi used by international NGOs like OSF is to provide funds for social activities.

Police reports have been lodged and investigations are ongoing, he said.

- Bernama