KIDAPAWAN CITY: Authorities have been scrambling since Thursday to verify a report alleging that four more Malaysians were abducted from the coast of Sabah in East Malaysia and taken to Sulu province in southern Mindanao.
Local police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Army’s Western Mindanao Command have not issued official statements about their recent finds.
A Malaysian daily on Friday reported, however, that a claim on the supposed kidnapping was a mere handiwork of “rumor-mongers” and that there have been no new abductions recorded in Sabah.
Daily Express, an independent national newspaper in East Malaysia, quoted Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar as saying that “on checking with the relevant authorities, police learned that the claim was false as no such abduction had occurred.”
It said Malaysian police, who were in the dark about the claim, had scrambled to verify the news report in the Philippines.
Local media on Thursday quoted Tawi-Tawi police director Senior Supt. Joselito Salido as saying that four more Malaysians were kidnapped in Sabah and brought to Sulu a week after the safe release of four Malaysian sailors who were abducted by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
The news broke out three days after the ASG beheaded their second hostage, Canadian Robert Hall.
The abductors earlier decapitated another Canadian, John Ridsdel, on April 25.
Last year, Malaysian authorities also checked on Philippine media reports about alleged sighting of wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 but it turned out to be false.