Sabah cops probe piracy attempt near Banggi Island

Two Vietnamese fishermen shot by alleged Filipino pirates.


KOTA KINABALU: Police are investigating a shooting case at sea under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder, according to Sabah Police Commissioner Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman in a statement on Wednesday.

In the 9.30am incident, two Vietnamese fishermen suffered gunshot wounds after suspected Filipino pirates in a speedboat allegedly opened fire on their vessel in Philippine waters, about 22 nautical miles east of Pulau Banggi, Kudat on Tuesday.

The victims known as Nguyen Nain Len, 47, and Huynh Thanh Tuan, 33, were injured in the underarm and knee respectively. They are reportedly in a stable condition at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.

The duo were among 10 fishermen on SK Fishing Enterprise, a fishing vessel owned by the Sabah-registered fishing company.

Jalaluddin added that, according to police investigations, four suspects in an unknown fishing boat and believed to be pirates neared the SK Fishing Enterprise and opened fire when its captain kicked the engine into life to flee from the scene.

“The suspects fired several gunshots, hitting the vessel and the two crewmen in the process,” said Jalaluddin. “The fishing vessel however managed to escape and hide behind Pulau Sepanggar before they were spotted by marine police who escorted them back to the marine jetty in Kota Kinabalu.”

“Police found several bullet holes on the SK Fishing Enterprise.”

Police investigations show the fishing vessel may have entered Philippine waters, before the incident, to catch fish.

“We have notified our counterparts from the Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to be on a look out for the suspects,” he said.

“We believe the suspects are pirates who intended to steal the SK Fishing Enterprise.”


Original Article