THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)–Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) launched a search and rescue operation to save five Indonesians who were allegedly kidnapped in Malaysia and brought to the Philippine waters.
According to AFP-Westmincom spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas, their Malaysian counterparts notified the Task Force Tawi-Tawi regarding the incident that took place in waters off Tambisan in Lahad Datu, Malaysia.
Accordingly, a tugboat SSK 00543 with eight crew members was reported missing on January 15, 2020.
On Friday, the tugboat was found at Tangusu Bay Sabah with three crew members identified as Abdul Latif, Daeng Akbal and Pian Bin Janiru.
Five of their companions identified as Riswanto bin Hayono, Edi bin Lawalopo, La Baa, Arizal Kastamiran, and Arshad bin Dahlan were missing.
The three rescued crews claimed that their companions were taken by suspects wearing black suits and masks onboard a gray colored boat with twin 40-horsepower engines.