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Negotiations start for freedom of kidnapped fish farm manager in Lahad Datu

Publication Date : 01-06-2014


Malaysian and Philippine security officials have embarked on another round of negotiations and this time, it is to secure the release of fish farm manager Yang Zailin.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohamad Mantek said the Chinese national who was abducted from Pulau Baik in Lahad Datu district on May 6 was reported to be safe in southern Philippines island of Jolo.

He said Malaysian security officials were working with their Philippine counterparts in trying to secure Yang’s freedom.

“The possibility of getting his freedom is good,” Mohamad said after meeting representatives of the Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Sunday.

Earlier negotiations between Malaysian and Philippines security officials with gunmen had resulted in the freedom of China tourist Gao Huayun and Filipino hotel worker Marcy Darawan from the Abu Sayyaf stronghold of Jolo island in southern Philippines after 59 days of captivity.

The negotiations began soon after both Gao, 29, and Marcy, 40, were abducted from the Singamata Reef Resort near Semporna by five gunmen on April 2.

The two women were escorted by Malaysian security officials from Jolo to Sandakan on Friday before being taken to Kuala Lumpur on the following day.

Gao was reunited with her family in Shanghai on Sunday while Marcy was also due to return to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Mohamad said the kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group in the Singamata abduction was different from the one that carried out the raid at Pulau Baik.

He said there were 14 known kidnap-for-ransom groups operating in southern Philippines of which seven were still active.

Mohamad said Esscom also hoped to establish a forward operations base (FOB) using a disused Petronas oil platform to be stationed in waters off Semporna district by year end.
He said the FOB would significantly increase the security forces’ capabilities in detecting intrusions in Malaysian waters.


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