The families of two Malaysians kidnapped on May 14 by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants from southern Philippines has received three calls from the captors the past week demanding money to buy medicines for diabetes and food for their two captives.
Quoting Sabah state Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman, The Star Online said the callers have been asking for money to buy diabetic medicines and food for Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, and Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39, who were snatched from the Ocean King seafood restaurant in Sandakan.
Thien, a businesswoman, was said to be a diabetic patient.
Abdul Rahman said gunmen claiming to be holding the two captives also demanded money for their release.
“Yes, ransom demands have been made but I cannot disclose the amount,” he said at a parade for auxiliary police constables at the state police headquarters on Saturday.
Jalaluddin said the kidnap-for-ransom group holding Thien and Bernard in Jolo island, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, had been on the move to avoid detection by Philippine security forces.
Thien was a co-owner of the popular restaurant about 3 kilometers from Sandakan town while Bernard is an electrical consultant in Cambodia.
Philippines police had said the Abu Sayyaf militant group is behind the abduction, and that they may have brought their captives to Jolo, Sulu province.
Two of the four kidnappers were identified as Abu Sayyaf members Mindas Muktadil and his brother Kadafy Muktadil.
On Wednesday, Mindas was killed in a shootout with Philippine policemen in Jolo.
But the Sabah police commissioner said Mindas’ death may not make a difference as there are still other kidnap groups.
Mindas was linked to the abduction of a Taiwanese tourist at Pom Pom Island off Semporna in 2013 and the kidnapping of a Chinese tourist and Filipino worker at Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort off Semporna in June 2014.