The Manila Times

Kidnapped Malaysian gecko trader freed in Sulu village

- F R I D AY May 18, 2012 BY ANTHONY VARGAS CORRESPOND­ENT

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) on Thursday confirmed the release of a Malaysian gecko trader who was abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in a remote village in Sulu more than a year ago.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., quoting reports from the field said that Mohammad Nasaruddin Bin Saidin was released by his captors last Saturday.

The PNP spokesman said that Saidin was freed sometime in the afternoon last Saturday in the vicinity of Subah Timaho in Sulu province.

The release of the foreigner was confirmed to the PNP by their Malaysian counterpar­t, reports said.

After his release, Saidin immediatel­y boarded a “jungkong” in going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to be reunited with his family after a year being held captive by bandits, reports said.

Saidin was snatched by armed men on May 8, 2011 while he was hunting for gecko ( tuko) in the vicinity of Sitio Bootan, Brgy. Kajatian in Indanan, Sulu, a known bailiwick of ASG bandits.

The Malaysian is among the numerous foreigners being held captive by ASG in Sulu and the nearby island province of Basilan.

Among of the foreigners still held captive by the bandits is retired Australian army man, Warren Richard Rodwell, who was snatched in Zamboanga Sibugay December last year and was taken to Basilan.

Also in February this year, two Europeans were snatched by five gunmen, believed to be members of the ASG in a remote village in a remote village in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-tawi province.

Two Europeans, Lorenzo Vinciguerr­a, 47, a Swiss and Ewold Horn, 52, a Dutch, were on a bird-watching trip when abducted and taken by their captors to Sulu province.

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, left, and ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, huddle in this photo posted on the website of Sulu Provincial Government.

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