Police Get ESSCom Help To Probe Semporna Shootout

SEMPORNA: Police will work the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) in investigating the shootout between a group of individuals and a Royal Malaysian Customs Department enforcement team in Semporna waters yesterday.

Semporna district police chief Supt Sabarudin Rahmat said police would get help from ESSCom to identify the suspects in the 3.40pm incident.

“Police are investigating the case under Section 307 of the Penal Code because the shooting could endanger the lives of the customs team,” he said in a statement here today.

Police received a report on the shootout at about 9.56pm yesterday.

Sabarudin said the incident happened when the five-man customs party led by the Lahad Datu customs chief was doing intelligence gathering on oil smuggling in the area.

He said a six-metre-long boat with about seven people inside suddenly sped off when they saw the enforcement party’s vessel about one kilometer away near Pulau Bohey Dulang.

The customs officers gave chase and tried to intercept the suspects’ boat, he said.

“When the customs officers were just about 200 metres from the suspects’ boat, one of the suspects fired at the customs party, resulting in a shootout.

“The suspects escaped towards the Malaysia/Philippines international waters,” he said.

Sabarudin said about 50 shots were fired in the shootout.