Saturday, May 21, 2011

Abu Sayyaf makes demand after contacting Malaysian consular officials

KOTA KINABALU: The Abu Sayyaf group is demanding about RM800,000 in ransom for the release of Malaysian businessman Mohammad Nazaruddin Saidin who is being held at their mountainous hideout in Jolo island in southern Philippines.
Philippines secretary for the Department of Interior and Local Government Jesse M. Robredo said yesterday the group had apparently contacted Malaysian consular officials recently and demanded for 8mil pesos (about RM800,000) for the release of Nazaruddin, 38, a father of six.

The Philippines military believes the group, led by an Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Alhabsy Misaya, which was responsible for several bombings in Jolo last year, was behind the kidnapping of Nazaruddin on May 7.
It is believed the gunmen were last sighted with Nazaruddin at the Buansa area near Indanan in Jolo island, a hotbed of the Abu Sayyaf militants involved in a wave of kidnappings over the years.
Nazaruddin, from Gombak in Kuala Lumpur, had gone to Jolo on a business trip with a friend to buy geckos sometime in late April and was abducted by about 10 gunmen when staying at a house in Idahan.
His Filipino friend has been identified as Abdulgafar Akikirula who is believed to be holding Malaysian citizenship.

In a text message reply to The Star, Robredo said the Abu Sayyaf group demanded an initial payment of 5mil pesos (RM558,800) to begin the facilitation for the safe release of Nazaruddin.
He said Philippines authorities were taking measures to secure Nazaruddin's release but did not elaborate.
Nazaruddin's wife Mazlina Mohammad, a 38-year-old kuih seller in Sungai Buloh had stated earlier this week that she had not received any call from his captors and that his family had no money to pay any ransom.
She said she was leaving it to the Malaysian and Philippines authorities to help secure the release of her husband.
Mazlina, who was in tears during her interview with journalists on Tuesday, lodged a report at the Sungai Plong police station in Kuang near Rawang on Sunday.

News from The Star online.


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