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LAHAD DATU, Nov 17 — The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) have set up a taskforce team to eradicate robberies at sea which are taking place in the waters of the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
ESSCom commander, Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman said a special operation was also mobilised in line with the setting up of the team.
“The taskforce was set up following several robberies recorded in the waters of the ESSZone including in Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna lately.
“I will not compromise with such activities which imperil the security of the maritime community in ESSZone,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
In the meantime, Ahmad Fuad said the taskforce which was mobilised today succeeded in nabbing three Filipino suspects, aged from 18 to 30 years old, in the waters of Pulau Bum Bum, Semporna believed to be involved in a sea robbery in Lahad Datu recently.
“At 9.30am today, a Marine Police Force (PPM) team headed by ESCom gave chase to a suspicious-looking boat.
“The suspects’ boat overturned after it collided with the PPM’s vessel which was trying to cut off its escape resulting in the suspects suffering mild injuries,” he said.
Ahmad Fuad said the authorities seized various items from the suspects including two outboard motor engines from the sea robbery in Lahad Datu.
He said investigations were being carried out to determine if the trio were also involved in the robbing of a bagang (fishing structure at sea with a lift net and lights) near Pulau Burung in Kunak.
In the incident at 3 am, Sunday, three masked men robbed a bagang and escaped with a 15hp outboard engine, two boxes of ice and a jerrycan containing 25 litres of petrol.
All the three fishermen and the owner of the bagang who were at the scene during the robbery were unhurt, he added. — Bernama