SEMPORNA: Two fishing boat crew members, both Indonesians, are believed to have been abducted near Pulau Gaya off this district's waters early this morning.
The victims, known only as boat skipper Samsul and his assistant Osman, both in their thirties, were on Dwi Jaya 1 conducting fishing activities after midnight.
This is the first kidnapping incident in Sabah waters in almost two years. The last incident on December 8, 2016, saw security forces gunning down three abductors and apprehended another two in Semporna waters.
Today's incident was confirmed by local boat owner Armanus Arsad when contacted by the New Straits Times Press today.
The incident was also confirmed by district police chief Superintendent Peter Anak Umbus, who declined to elaborate on the matter.
Armanus said four crew members were onboard the vessel.
He said at the time of the incident, the two kidnap victims were on top of the boat while the other two crew members were in the engine room.
He said between two and four suspects approached them in a speedboat.
"The two men in the engine room peeped outside and saw the two victims being taken away.
"They could not ascertain the exact number of kidnappers due to low visibility,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd