Curfew in waters off ESSZone extended till March 26

Curfew in waters off ESSZone extended till March 26

TAWAU: The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), scheduled to end tomorrow, has been extended until March 26.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah said the curfew, which is from 6 pm to 6 am, covers the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

“Those living in the affected areas are required to stay in the house and outsiders are not allowed to enter or be in the area within the period,” he said in a statement today.

He said the curfew was extended to ensure the affected areas would not be encroached by terrorists and threaten security and also to protect the safety and well-being of Sabahans, as well as international researchers and foreign tourists in the resort areas.

“Information gathered has revealed that groups involved in kidnapping for ransom and the Abu Sayyaf group are still trying to infiltrate these waters to carry out kidnapping and cross-border crimes,” he said.

Idris said the curfew order was also to facilitate the enforcement and monitoring of boat movements, while the presence of security vessels would create a sense of security for the maritime community.

However, he said, district police chiefs in the affected areas have been authorised to issue permits to those applying for fishing activities and to attend to urgent matters during the curfew. — Bernama