13 kidnap attempts in Sabah waters foiled by Esscom
SABAH’S coastal security has strengthened greatly under the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
He said Esscom foiled 13 kidnap attempts in Sabah this year, following the arrest of 1,005 locals and illegal immigrants.
Shahidan said the security enforcement agency also arrested two criminals in waters near Pulau Pom Pom off Semporna on Dec 8 last year.
“Esscom has partnered with various parties, such as the Marine Police and Filipino security forces, to combat criminals.
“Among the joint efforts undertaken is the sharing of intelligence between Malaysia and the Philippines,” he said during Question Time at Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Shahidan was replying to a question by Datuk Dr Makin @ Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan).
Makin had asked the minister to elaborate on the successes achieved by Esscom since its establishment and the number of criminals arrested for entering the country through its sea borders. Esscom was established on March 7, 2013, following a Sulu terrorist intrusion in Lahad Datu, Sabah, in February that year.
It oversees the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) in protecting the sovereignty and strengthening security in the east coast of the state.
Illegal immigration and incursions by the Abu Sayyaf pirates had been an issue in Sabah for many years.
The long borders are porous and extremely difficult to police as Esscom had to defend vast areas with a coastline of 1,773km.
Esscom had a major success last December when security forces shot dead three suspected kidnappers, including Abu Sayyaf key leader Abraham @ Ibrahim Hamid, in a gunfight in Semporna waters.
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim