KINABATANGAN – Police Wednesday brushed off rumours circulating on WhatsApp application and Facebook that two Abu Sayyaf militants had been detained in the district.
Kinabatangan police chief Supt A. Sahak Rahmat said police had never made any arrest on any member of the militant group so far.
“We are asking the public not to easily fall for all information which went viral (on social media) without obtaining prior confirmation from the police,” he said.
Despite, security forces and police quashing such rumours, the messages continued to be shared that caused some anxiety among the people.
Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said that the viral voice message asking people to be cautious as pirates were around was not true.
He said there has been a variety of fake messages and public should not panic and instead check with Esscom Operations Centre 089-863181 to clarify such matters if they come across any such messages.
Supt Sahak also warned that police were tracing the source of such rumours and will take action under the multimedia and communication laws.
“The (fake) message also claims that two of them had told police that 30 or 40 had spread out from their hiding place at the Kg Sinar Jaya cemetery,’’ he added.
He assured that the the security was under control.
However, Supt Sahak advised the public to notify the police if they see suspicious individuals or unfamiliar faces in their respective places.
Among the contents of the Whatsapp messages were –
“The two militants came out of hiding and surrendered to the police because they were starving.
“The two were among a group of the militants that had escaped the Philippine military operation and came to Sabah where they hid in the Kampung Sinar Jaya Muslim cemetery.
“The police had already came across the abandoned hideout. The local community in plantations were advised to be cautious and advised not to go outdoors after 6pm.”