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TAWAU, Oct 18 — The families of the five men who were kidnapped in Dent Heaven waters off Lahad Datu in July are claiming that the Abu Sayaff terrorist group in the southern Philippines is harassing them on ransom payment.
Gustiah Sultan, 46, the wife of Tayudin Anjut, 45, one of the victims, said the families had been receiving endless calls from them on the ransom payment.
“The last call we received from them (Abu Sayaff) was at 4.19pm on Wednesday (Oct 12) asking for ransom totalling RM2 million within four days.
“They threatened that they we will behead the victims if the money is not paid...but we pleaded for more time,” she told reporters here today.
Gustiah, who spoke on behalf of the families, said they were at their wits end and hoped to get all the help they could so that the victims could return home safely.
The five victims, all Malaysians, were crew members of a tugboat. The others were Abd Rahim Summas, 62; Fandy Bakran, 26; Mohamad Jumadil Rahim, 23, all from Lahad Datu, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32, from Felda Jengka 7, Pahang.
Gustia also said the families were fearing the worst as they learnt that Abd Rahim had been separated from the others.
“When my husband called, he had told my nephew that they had taken him away and did not know here he was brought to,” she added.
The victim’s tugboat, the Serudong 3, was hijacked by the group as it was passing Dent Haven waters while on its way to Semporna from Sandakan.
The tug was later found aground on a sand bank in the area with the crew missing and their quarters ransacked.
The Abu Sayaff group, noted for their kidnap-for ransom activities, brought the victims to their hideout in Mindanao island in the southern Philippines. — Bernama