AFP validates ASG involvement in kidnapping of 3 Timorese

CAMP NAVARRO, Zamboanga City, July 11 — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) is validating the veracity of reports that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) brigands were involved in the kidnapping of three Timorese in Malaysia.

“We are not, however, discounting the fact that the said abduction may have been perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group, but the probability is low based on proximity and the intelligence reports gathered by troops,” Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., WESMINCOM spokesman said Monday.

Reports disclosed the kidnapping took place around 11:40 p.m. Saturday off the coast of Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu, Sabah.

The victims were identified as Lorence Koten, Teo Dorus Kopong, and a certain Emanuel.

Per reports, the three captives are crew members of the Trawler’s Net owned by Chia Tong Lim.

They were boarding the vessel along with five other crew members when five gunmen aboard a speedboat arrived and seized them.

The gunmen left behind the other five crew, who are currently in the custody of the Marine Police Post in Merabung, Lahad Datu.

Report further disclosed that Lim received a call from a friend who informed him of the incident.

Tan said they continue to intensify intelligence monitoring in collaboration with the police to confirm the reported kidnapping. (PNA)

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