Police have intensified their search for a kidnap victim and two suspects who disappeared when a team from the General Operations Force (GOF) shot at a group of kidnappers in waters off Pulau Gaya, Semporna on Thursday.
Sabah Police Commissioner Abdul Rashid Harun said the search operations, coordinated by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) with help from other security agencies were still ongoing.
"We have yet to receive any status on their whereabouts as of this morning. We will continue with the search to the best of our abilities.
"All of them disappeared right after the shootout which occurred in the waters where the depth is about 80 metres," he told reporters after closing the 'EX-Rampas KKIA' drill at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) today.
In the incident, three of seven suspects, believed to be kidnappers from southern Philippines, were shot dead by GOF, while two others were detained and the other two escaped.
According to police, the kidnappers had abducted two boat skippers.
However, one of them was rescued and the other went missing with the two kidnappers.
A GOF member was hurt on the leg in the incident and is now warded at Semporna Hospital.
Abdul Rashid said the two suspects, in their 30s, were now being detained to facilitate investigations under Section 3 of the Firearms Act (Heavier Penalty) Act 1971 and Section 365 of the Penal Code.
He also urged members of the public not to fall for any kind of speculation on the incident as circulated by certain irresponsible quarters.