Police: Operation launched to nab ‘lookouts’ targetting potential kidnap victims in ESSZone

A generic view of the Royal Malaysia Police logo outside Bukit Aman Police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur July 26, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
A generic view of the Royal Malaysia Police logo outside Bukit Aman Police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur July 26, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUNAK, March 4 — Sabah police have cast a dragnet to detain the remaining ‘lookouts’ working hand-in-glove with kidnap-for-ransom groups (KFRG) in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (ESSzone).

Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESScom) Commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali said ‘Ops Gasak’ was launched to address the threats identified and which frequently occur in the hot spot areas of ESSzone.

“Ops Gasak will neutralise the hot spot areas in ESSzone from any cross-border crimes.

“ESSZone should be free from cross-border criminal activities which could disrupt the harmony and well-being of the country,” he said in a statement here today.

Hazani said 41 illegal immigrants were arrested today in an operation at three water villages, namely Kampung Pangkalan Sumil, Kampung Kunak Jaya and Kampung Kulluk in Kunak.

The foreigners, comprising 21 men and 20 women, aged between six and 65 years, were detained in the integrated operation which started at 3am.

It was also aimed at wiping out illegal immigrants suspected of acting as ‘lookouts’ for KFRG.

“The hot spot areas include water squatter settlements that are often used as a staging point by the ‘lookouts’, besides becoming hideouts for criminals,” he added.

A total of 255 individuals were checked during the operation mounted by 176 enforcement officers from various agencies.

The operation was carried out in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Malaysian Immigration Department, the National Registration Department, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and the Kunak District Council. — Bernama

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