KOTA KINABALU: Gunmen holding the three fishermen abducted near Semporna on Sept 10 have demanded about RM173,000 (2mil Philippine pesos) for their release.
Fishing vessel owner Karim Musappa said he received a call from boat skipper Masurin Jamalan who told him that he had until Sept 19 to come up with the ransom, the Star Online reported.
The ransom was made when he received a call from Masurin on Sept 12, two days after the abduction off Pom Pom island.
“Masurin also called his wife twice and he told me as well that if I didn’t come up with the ransom, they would be beheaded,” Karim said in Tawau on Saturday.
He said Masurin also told him that he and the other two abducted fishermen – Sami Gani and Loloy Alpin – had been brought to an Abu Sayyaf stronghold on Jolo island.
Karim said he had immediately lodged a police report after receiving the call, adding that his fishing business had been severely affected following the abduction of the three crewmen.
“One of my vessels is undergoing repairs, the second has been detained because of the incident while the crew of the third boat is too afraid to go out to sea,” said Karim.
The three fishermen are believed to be in the hands of the notorious Abu Sayyaf leader Majan Sahidjuan also known as Apo Mike.
Apo Mike was reported to be holding five Malaysian tugboat crewmen abducted in waters off Dent Haven in Lahad Datu on July 8.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun had said that the three fishermen were safe.
All three were Filipino migrants holding IMM13 Immigration Department documents allowing them to reside and work in Sabah.