Malaysian police seeks info from Philippines on arrested Abu Sayyaf militant

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysian police are keen to work with their Filipino counterparts following the arrest of notorious Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Idang Susukan in Davao City, the Philippines.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Hazani Ghazali said they would get in touch with their counterparts to share information they had gathered through interrogation of the suspect linked to kidnappings in Sabah.

“Yes, we will be contacting them. We need to complete our investigations on cases he was involved in in Sabah,” Datuk Hazani said when asked if Malaysian police would be requesting clearance to question him or provide information on the Philippine interrogation of Idang.

The 34-year-old Idang, whose real name is Abduljihad Susukan, was arrested by Philippine police at the house of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari at around 8.30pm on Thursday (Aug 13) in Davao City.

Southern Mindanao regional police chief Brigadier General Filmore Escobal said Idang surrendered himself to the arresting team without any resistance.

“He cooperated with the authorities when he was served the warrants of arrest,” Brig Gen Escobal said in reference to 34 warrants of arrest against him for killings and kidnappings in the southern Philippines and the east coast of Sabah.

On Thursday, The Star, in an exclusive report, showed pictures of Idang walking freely in Davao City, raising security concerns.

Regional security sources said Idang had followed Misuari from his southern Philippines base of Jolo to Davao City to get a prosthetic to replace his left arm, which he had lost during a gun battle with the Philippine military early last year.

Intelligence also indicated that Misuari himself had reportedly picked up Idang in Sulu and brought him to Davao City, allegedly to seek an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to Malaysian security personnel, Idang was linked directly to six kidnapping cases in Sabah waters, including the one involving the beheading of Sarawakian tourist Bernard Then, who was taken from Ocean King Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan on May 14,2015.

Idang was also involved in a spate of cross-border abductions in Sabah’s east coast since 2013, including those of Chinese national Gao Huayun and Filipina Marcy Darawan at Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna waters on April 2,2014; Chinese national Yang Zai Lin from Wonderful Terrace fish farm in Lahad Datu on May 6,2014; and Malaysian Chan Sai Chun, who was snatched from his fish farm in Kampung Sapang in Kunak on June 16,2014.

In April this year, Idang surrendered to Misuari and had remained in the MNLF camp. However, the surrender was not recognised as an amnesty by Manila.

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