Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek believe that the abduction of a fish breeder and a worker at a breeding centre in Kampung Sapang Air in Kunak, Sabah was the work of an “inside man”.
This, he said, was based on the findings that the criminals knew the area very well.
“It is an isolated area, surrounded by islands. Only those who had been at the place for a long time would know the condition at the centre,” he mentioned.
He said soon after being told of the case, Esscom ordered several assets to be sent to places identified as exit routes for the suspects involved.
“But, the suspects could have used alternatives routes that they were able to escape, and believed to be in a neighbouring country now,” he added.
Mohammad said preliminary investigation also revealed that the modus operandi of the abduction was similar to the one which occurred at Pulau Baik, Lahad Datu, on May 6.
“Both groups used the workers to look for the owners and how they (abductors) entered and left the fish breeding centres was similar,” he added.
He said Esscom is now facing cross-border crimes which were masterminded by people who had been staying for a long time in the state, especially in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).
At about 12.40am on Monday, the owner of the fish breeding centre, Chan Sai Chiun, 32, from Ipoh, Perak and a worker, known only as Mazlan, in his 20s, were abducted by two armed-men.
It is the third abduction case reported in the east coast of Sabah this year. The first was on May 6 when five armed-men abducted a manager of a fish breeding company, who is a Chinese national, at Pulau Baik in Lahad Datu, and a month later, of a Chinese national tourist at a resort in Semporna.
Mohammad once again reminded operators of resorts and fish-breeding projects to abide by regulations by only hiring workers in possession of valid documents.
He said Esscom would no longer compromise with those caught violating regulations.