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Kidnapped Chinese fish farm manager released

KOTA KINABALU: Kidnapped Chinese fish farm manager Yang Zai Lin, 34 has been freed by the Abu Sayyaf gunmen.

Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed Yang’s release and said that he had been brought to Sandakan and will be taken to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday evening before being sent back to China. On May 6, five gunmen took Yang, a manager at Wonderful Terrace Fish Farm, from Pulau Baik, Lahad Datu.

A string of kidnappings have rocked Sabah’s east coast over the past nine months, as armed gunmen — mostly believed to be linked to terrorist organisations based in South Philippines — have abducted at least six people including three foreign tourists and businessmen.

Last month, a caged-fish breeding farm operator and his employee were kidnapped by two armed men on speedboat in Kampung Sapang, off Kunak.

In April, a Chinese tourist and a Filipina worker of an island resort off Semporna were nabbed by armed gunmen. They were released a month later although the Malaysian government maintains that no ransom was paid.

A tourist from Taiwan was taken hostage from another resort island off Semporna by gunmen in October last year. They shot dead her husband. It was reported that an undisclosed ransom was paid before her release a month later.

Such incidents have led to questions over the efficacy of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM), set up last year to secure the country’s easternmost borders against foreign intrusions.