3:13 pm - Tuesday December 16, 1586

Shot dead: ‘Gunman had links with Abu Sayyaf’

ABU S

MO,5/12/2017, A GUNMAN, killed in a shoot-out with security forces during curfew in the waters off here yesterday, had links with kidnap-for-ransom groups and the Abu Sayyaf militant group. Police have identified the suspect as Abu Paliyak, 31, who also went by the name Komander Paliyak @ Yusof.

Paliyak was high on the wanted list for his involvement in robberies at sea and kidnappings, including two abduction cases involving fish farm breeders in the east coast of Sabah three years ago. He was believed to have been reconnoitring an area for kidnapping when security forces stumbled on him at 3am while patrolling Silam waters, near Pulau Kantung Kalungan.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Ramli Din said Paliyak acted as an informer to a kidnap-for-ransom group dubbed Kumpulan Remy, which had been active in carrying out cross-border crime in the east coast of Sabah and the southern Philippines. However, the group was crippled after its leader, Remy, was arrested in the Philippines.

Police believe Paliyak had acted as an informer for another kidnap-for-ransom group prior to his death. “We believe the suspect was at sea, monitoring the movements of our security forces, as well as channelling information to the group so that it could plan and carry out crimes in the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone. “In the incident, security forces spotted a suspicious pump boat with the suspect on board.

“The team approached the boat and introduced themselves. “However, the boat sped off and a gunshot was fired at the security forces, prompting them to return fire,” he said here yesterday. The shoot-out lasted several minutes before the security forces managed to approach the boat. “They found Paliyak dead with a gunshot wound.”

The team seized a modified pump gun and bullets. Ramli said the team found nine old wounds, believed to have been caused by gunshots and explosive-related injuries, on the suspect’s body. “We will conduct a detailed investigation to trace remnants of informers and members of the kidnap-for-ransom group,” he said.

In September, a Filipino man wanted by the police for involvement in sea robbery and kidnapping was killed in a shoot-out in the waters off Kunak. The suspect, Masurati Insawani @ Tarab, 50, was killed while trying to flee from the authorities in waters near Pulau Burung. In December last year, policemen from the General Operations Force shot dead three gunmen during a kidnapping attempt in Semporna waters.

Two kidnappers were arrested. One of those killed, Abraham @ Ibrahim Hamid, was a former member of Abu Sayyaf.

–NSTP

Filed in: Nasional, Negeri Di Bawah Bayu, Topik Pilihan

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