Curfew in ESSZONE extended to April 20

KOTA KINABALU: The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) which ends 6 pm today has been extended until April 20.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Zaini Jas said with the extension of the curfew, people living in the area were required to stay indoors and would not be allowed to be in the waters there between 6 pm and 6 am during the period.

“Outsiders will not be allowed to enter or be in the affected areas between 6 pm and 6 am,” he said in a statement here today.

Zaini said the curfew covered the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

He said the curfew was extended to ensure the waters would not be invaded by terrorists who could threaten the safety of international researchers as well as foreign tourists at the resort islands.

Zaini said that based on intelligence, the Abu Sayyaf militant group and those carrying out kidnappings-for-ransom from the southern Philippines are still trying to intrude into the ESSZone to commit abductions and cross-border crimes.

He said the curfew would also facilitate the enforcement and monitoring of boat movements, while the presence of security vessels would provide a sense of security for chalet operators and fishermen in the area.

“I also give all district police chiefs in the ESSZone the authority to issue permits to eligible applicants for the purpose of fishing activities or to attend to urgent matters during the curfew,” he added.