Five armed men take away cousins from bird’s nest house in Lahad Datu
KOTA KINABALU 16/11/2012: Two West Malaysians were abducted by five armed men at a bird’s nest house inside an oil palm plantation at Timbun Mata in Kampung Manakayang, off Lahad Datu district on Wednesday.
The incident happened on November 14 when four men, comprising three Chinese and a Timorese, who were harvesting at the premises, were approached by the abductors said to be carrying sacks believed to contain weapons.
It is said that the abductors came to the farm house in an outboard boat and made their way to the premises, about two kilometers from the sea between 3.30pm and 4.30pm on Wednesday.
The abductors robbed the two victims, the manager and assistant manager of the plantation, of their belongings before ordering them to the boat and escaped in the open waters.
It is said that the victims had earlier pleaded to be released but the suspects only freed the workers and abducted the 33-year-old plantation manager and his 25-year-old assistant, who coincidentally are cousins.
Both the workers then ran into the plantation office and told the owner that his son and nephew had been kidnapped by the armed men.
The owner then lodged a police report around 4.45pm the same day at Kampung Cenderawashi, about 50km from the plantation.
State Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib, who confirmed the incident, said the police were investigating the case from all angles.
“Initial report revealed that five armed men, one wearing a face mask, came to the plantation in an outboard boat and made their way to the premises.
“The suspects then robbed the farm manager and his assistant of their handphones, gold rings and necklace, and the vehicle keys before ordering the men to the boat where they escaped back to the sea,” he said, adding that it was still too early for the police to determine the kind of weapons used in the abduction.
According to Hamza, both the victims are cousins and only identified by their surname, Tung.
He said the police were still investigating the motive of the abduction and they had yet to receive any ransom demand from the abductors.
“Police were informed of the incident around 4.45pm and a team was immediately deployed to the scene.
“We have also deployed the marine police, air police unit and the General Operation Force while other agencies such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency are also involved in the operation,” he said.
“We also believe that the suspects have left Sabah waters and into a neighboring country, and the police have also contacted our counterparts for assistance,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamza said the abduction might not be the act of any militant group from the Southern Philippines as investigations were still at an early stage.
“Police will continue to investigate and we believe that both the suspects and victims will be traced soon,” he said.
Hamza added the case would be investigated under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine a person.
This is the third abduction case reported in the state in the past three years.
On February 8, 2010, a group of five foreign men armed with rifles and parang abducted two men, including a seaweed farm owner, in Sebangkat, Semporna.
The incident was said to have occurred due to a dispute over unpaid wages with some of the workers of the seaweed company.
On October 12 last year, a Malaysian man from Kuching, Sarawak was abducted by four unidentified men while buying fish at Pondohan Lok Angki, Sitangkai Tawi Tawi Island, Southern Philippines.
by Elton Gomes