Missing fishermen: Still too early to say what happened – CP
KOTA KINABALU: Information regarding the recent disappearance of a boat skipper and his crewmen in the waters at Pegasus Reef, off Kinabatangan, is unclear as police are still trying to piece the puzzle as to what actually happened to them.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said police were earlier informed that four men, including the boat skipper, have gone missing but now it is claimed that only three men are reported missing.
“We are still gathering as much information regarding this case. It is still too early to say what actually happened.
“There were rumours claiming that four men were kidnapped and taken to a neighbouring country, but we have not received any report from either the victims’ family members or those responsible.
“We were also now informed that three men, not four, have gone missing.
“So it is unclear what actually happened or how many victims have gone missing,” he said.
Omar said this when met at the gotong-royong program organised by the Police Family Association (Perkep) and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) at Taman Awam, Teluk Likas, here yesterday.
Also present at the program were Omar’s wife and Sabah Perkep chairman Datin Diana Lee Dennis Abdullah, police officers, personnel Perkep members and other NGOs.
The disappearance of the boat skipper and his crewmen were reported following the discovery of an abandoned fishing vessel in the waters at Pegasus Reef, off Kinabatangan not far from the Magtrans II tugboat incident where four armed masked men attempted to rob and kidnap 13 of the tugboat crewmen who were on their way to Papua New Guinea from Bintulu, Sarawak to collect timber on December 5.
According to Omar, information that police received regarding the missing fishermen kept changing which makes it difficult for police to carry out their investigation.
“Last night (Friday) we received rumours claiming that one of the victims’ family had received phone calls from the socalled suspects, but when police went to interview the wife, she denied receiving any calls from anyone who claimed to be holding her husband or the other crewmen hostage.
“So without any concrete facts, we can’t tell what actually happened,” he said, adding that police for now are classifying the case as missing person.
Omar (centre) with his wife Diana Lee Dennis, police officers, personnel, Perkep members and NGOs during the gotong-royong program at Taman Awam, Teluk Likas yesterday.