LAHAD DATU, Dec 8 — Since its establishment in 2013, the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) has crippled 41 Abu Sayyaf group clans involved in kidnapping for ransom activities in Sabah.

Its commander Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman attributed the success to swift intelligence exchange between ESSCom, the Sulu Joint Task Force and the Western Mindanao Command military team.

“Two of the Abu Sayyaf group clans, namely Hatib Munap Binda and Jemaah Group led by Ustaz Mamay Aburi were crippled during my tenure as ESSCom Commander,” he told reporters after a parade to mark his retirement, here, today.

Ahmad Fuad also shared the success of three joint special operations with the Philippines in neutralising nine main targets of Abu Sayyaf, thus maintaining zero kidnappings in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).

“No kidnappings occured during my tenure and this is due to the close cooperation with security forces from the Philippines and Indonesia,” said Ahmad Fuad who will retire on Dec 11.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Fuad said several plans had been drawn up by ESSCom to strengthen security control in the ESSZone, including the proposal to build General Operations Force posts in populated areas.

“ESSCom also proposed that a Forward Operation Base of the Air Operation Force be established in Tawau to house all the assets and facilitate their maintenance works,” he added.

Ahmad Fuad also reminded all members of the security forces in the ESSZone against abetting cross-border criminals or syndicates in conducting their illegal activities. — Bernama