Family of four Sibu kidnap victims waiting for news of their release

SIBU: One of the eight family members of the four hostages from Sibu, who are now in Sabah, told The Borneo Post this morning that they were still waiting for news on the four kidnap victims.

The family member said they could not confirm yet whether the four had been released by the militants in the Southern Philippines, as has been speculated by online news, adding they would only confirm when they had seen the four.

News have spread that the four had been released and were returning to Sandakan.

The family member appealed to the press this morning not to spread unconfirmed information about the release, saying this could jeopardise the efforts of the police in securing the the release of the four.

The family source added Wong Chee Ming – father of kidnapped brothers Teck Kang and Teck Chii – was now in Sabah with a few others.

According the the source, they had not seen the hostages and would not confirm on the speculated release.

The four – brothers Wong Teck Kang, 31, and Wong Teck Chii, 29, their cousin, Johnny Lau Jung Hien, 21, and 34-year-old Wong Hung Sing – were seafarers working on a tugboat returning to Sarawak from the Philippines when they were kidnapped on April 1 evening.

Lanang MP Alice Lau, cousin to kidnapped Johnny Lau, said the family members in Sabah had called the Sabah police and were told that they were still working on the kidnap situation.

According to news by The Star Online earlier today, the four Sarawakian sailors kidnapped off Pulau Ligitan in Sabah on April 1 had been released by their Abu Sayyaf captors and that they had returned to Sandakan, Sabah earlier today.

It further added: “Reports from Jolo indicated that Malaysian and Filipino negotiators managed to secure the four’s release from the militant group after several rounds of negotiation. Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun when contacted declined to comment on the matter.”

It also reported that the captors reportedly demanded an RM18mil ransom for their release.

The Borneo Post reporters in Sibu, Kuching and Sabah are still following up on this matter at press time.

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