KOTA KINABALU: The curfew in the waters of seven districts of the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) beginning Tuesday has been extended until March 27.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said the curfew involved the waters in the districts of Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.
He said the curfew would be extended for 14 days beginning Wednesday (March 13) until 6 pm on March 27.
“Other people are not allowed to enter or be in the area declared between 6 pm until 6 am on the dates stated,” he said in a statement here Monday.
Omar said the curfew was extended to ensure the waters involved were not intruded by terrorists who threatened the security of international researchers carrying out research as well as foreign tourists visiting the resort island.
He said the curfew was also to ensure the security and prosperity of the people of Sabah who used the waters and stayed on the land area of the ESSZone.
The curfew would also facilitate enforcement and monitoring on the movements of boats and provide security and confidence to the chalet operators and fishermen with the presence of the security forces, he said.
Omar added that based on information received, the Abu Sayyaf militant group and those carrying out kidnapping activities to get payment of ransom from the Philippines were still committing cross-border crimes and kidnapping.
“I have also empowered all district police chiefs in the ESSZone to issue permits to eligible applicants for purposes of fishing activities and those with pressing needs to enter the curfew areas,”he added.
Meanwhile, the Sandakan Marine Operations Force (PPM) detained five fishing boats for conducting illegal fishing activities in waters less than two nautical miles from the beach Saturday.
Sabah region 4 PPM commander ACP Mohamad Pajeri Ali, in a statement, said the boats were detected near waters of Sungai Asam, Kuala Sungai Kelibong and Kuala Sungai Pitas Kinabatangan between 4 pm and 5.30 pm.
‘They were caught trawling in the area, he said, adding that two local skippers and three Indonesian skippers, all aged between 44 and 54, and their crew were detained.
He said their marine catch, comprising 1,480kg of prawns worth RM44,400 and 1,210 kg of fish, worth RM12,100, was also seized.
The boats and seizures were taken to the Sandakan PPM headquarters for further action.