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KOTA KINABALU, June 16:

Armed and masked kidnappers spoke very poor and minimal Bahasa Malaysia when they demanded fish farm owner Chan Sai Chiun, 32, and his staff, identified only as Mazlan, to follow the abductors to a waiting boat.

“Chan’s wife, Chin Pek Nyuen, said in less than five minutes, the abductors spoke very little and bad Malay when they pointed a gun at the victim, demanding him to follow them,” said Sabah Criminal Investigation Department head Senior Assistant Commissioner Omar Mammah.

He said both victims were believed to be kidnapped by the same group of armed men and were no longer in Sabah waters.

“They were kidnapped around 12.40am at the fish farm in Kampung Air Sapang, some 10km from Kunak town. The farm is about 500m from the mainland,” said Omar.

Initial investigations revealed that Chan and Chin, 42, who were staying in one of the structures at the fish farm area with their nephew, were awakened by the barking of their dog and heard footsteps coming from outside their house.

“They both woke up to check and spotted two men in dark attire, both armed and masked, at their door.

“Chan was asked to follow the abductors while Chin went into hiding with their 2-year-old nephew.”

Police were notified of the incident by one of the fish farm owners. Apart from Chan, the farm, which started operating in April, has two other owners.

To date, there have been no contacts with Chan or the abductors, and police believe it is a kidnap-for-ransom case.

“We have yet to receive any information that Mazlan, in his 20s, had managed to escape from the abductors,” said Omar, adding that police were investigating the case from all angles, mainly under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnap and also under the Firearms Act.

He said police was also investigating the fish farm company, as well as whether this was an inside job.

“We believed that the abductors had rowed the boat to the fish farm as the witnesses did not hear engine boats.

“We do not believe that the back-to-back kidnappings are targeting resorts and fish farms only. The kidnappers are looking at the human commodity aspects. So it can happen anywhere, particularly on the east coast of Sabah,” said Omar.

Earlier last month, China national Yang Zai Lin, a fish farm manager, was abducted from a farm in Pulau Baik in Lahad Datu. He is still in captivity in the southern Philippines.

This latest kidnapping happened 18 days after the release of China national Gao Hua Yuan and Filipina Marcy Dayawan. They have since been reunited with their family members back home.

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