Malaysian resto couple seized in latest cross-border kidnap PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 May 2015 13:28


The Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu was tagged as behind the latest cross border kidnapping of a Chinese-Malaysian couple on Thursday night in Sandakan in the federal state of Sabah, some 2oo nautical miles from Sulu,

Thien Nyuk Fen and her husband Bernard Ted Fen were snatched by gunmen from their restaurant about 7p.m. They were dragged to a motorized outrigger loally called “jugnkung” that sailed toward southern Philippines.

Philippine troops have been dispatched to scour several parts of Sulu to determine where the kidnapped couple was actually taken.

The Star, a Sabah-based news portal quoted a top Malaysian official to have said that neither the police nor family members of the two kidnap victims have received any calls from the suspects more than 12 hours after the incident occurred.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said no contact has been established between the kidnappers and the police nor the victims’ family.

“We are still trying to get more leads to find out who these kidnappers are and the victims’ location,” he said.

All security forces and available assets have been sent to hunt for the kidnappers.

Jalaluddin said they believe someone from inside the restaurant may have alerted the gunmen and helped them identify the two victims – Thien Nyuk Fun, 50 and Bernard Then Ted Fen, 38.

“They seem to know exactly who to go for,” he said.

It is understood that the Philippines security forces have been alerted of the incident that occurred at the Ocean King Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan.

The Star said after nearly a year of feeling secure, people in the east coast of Sabah woke up to their worst fears on Friday morning with the news that Filipino gunmen have struck again.

“Many felt that with the curfew on the east coast shores the gunmen would not dare enter the state to carry out kidnappings,” said the news portal.

The last cross border kidnapping took place on July 12, 2014 in Mabul island resort where Abu Sayyaf gunmen shot a policeman and kidnapped another.

“Its very bad… people feel vulnerable. The criminals have entered a bay and got away. It is a bad blow for not only tourism but also coastal people and businesses,” former Sabah deputy chief minister Datuk Tham Nyip Shen told The Star.

Tham, who was a former assemblyman in Sandakan, said that the inability to cover Sandakan bay is worrying to all mainland coastal people in the east coast of Sabah despite a curfew and the presence of Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM).

“More needs to be done. It is hard for people to reconcile with the fact that cross border criminals are continuing to come in and we are unable to defend our ourselves,” added Tham. — Dan Toribio Jr. and Bhong Simbajon