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PUBLISHED: Oct 31, 2014 2:56pm

Sabah police to investigate if dead armed robbers linked to Sulu militants

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SANDRA SOKIAL By:
Sandra Sokial

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman showing the items seized from two armed robbers who were shot dead during a shoot-out in Penampang Baru yesterday evening. — TRP pic by Sandra Sokial

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KOTA KINABALU, Oct 31, 2014:

Sabah police is investigating the identity and backgrounds of the two Filipino armed robbers shot dead in Penampang Baru, some 10km from here yesterday, including a possible link to the Sulu militants.

According to the State Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman, they will be cross checking with old records and hope to complete the investigations within a week.

“For now, I can confirm that they are from the Philippines, aged 50 and 42, with one possessing an international passport, while the other was carrying a MyKad, but using another person’s identity,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Sabah police headquarters in Kepayan.

He, however, urged the people to stop listening or spreading rumours, as well as speculating on the issue, to avoid creating unnecessary panic.

Initial investigations revealed that the two were involved in at least three major armed robbery cases this month — Seng Heng Electrical in Penampang on Oct 6; Tailored Seng Supermarket Sdn Bhd in Kota Kinabalu (Oct 9); and Kedai Emas Man-Man in Tuaran (Oct 16).

“We believe their main purpose was to obtain money, but for what, we are not sure. In the three robberies, they had carted away over a million ringgit in jewelleries and cash,” he said.

A special task force was immediately set up to investigate these armed robberies, and according to Jalaluddin, they have been monitoring the duo’s movements for the last three months.

On the incident, he said police received information about the duo and had been tailing them for an hour before approaching their four-wheel Isuzu DMax at the shoplots area within Penampang Baru around 4pm.

“We opened fire upon seeing them pulling out a Browning pistol, leading to a shoot-out. Later, we found two bullet shells in the car and one in the chamber of the gun,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder and Section 395/397 of the same Code for gang armed robbery.

In the last 24 hours, people have been speculating on the shoot-out, linking it to be part of the Sultan Sulu’s operation to conquer Sabah.

“We are investigating them, and while I am not denying about their links with Sulu, I would rather investigate their intentions and background to avoid any speculations.”

In February last year, the Sulu militants made their way into Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu and fought with our security forces to claim Sabah, which they believe is rightfully theirs.

Ten Malaysian security forces perished while fighting to defend the state.

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