Director of Indonesian Citizen Protection of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Judha Nugraha delivered his response to a video last week that showed three Indonesians seeking the government’s assistance to set them free.
"The three men in the video are confirmed to be the three Indonesians held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group since September 2019," Nugraha noted in a short message to ANTARA here on Friday.
In the 43-second-long video, the three Indonesians identified as Maharudin Lunani (48), Muhammad Farhan (27), and Samiun Maneu (27) appealed to the Indonesian government to assist in releasing them.
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"We work in Malaysia. We were captured by the Abu Sayyaf group on September 24, 2019. We are optimistic that our boss would help to release us," Samiun stated in Bahasa Indonesia in the video.
He also spoke of the kidnappers demanding a ransom to the tune of 30 million pesos, or some Rp8 billion.
Malaysian media The Star reported that Abu Sayyaf’s gunmen had abducted the three Indonesians while they were fishing at sea near Tambisan Island in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.
The waters have oftentimes borne witness to piracy and kidnapping by armed groups from south Philippines, including Abu Sayyaf.
Sabah Police Commissioner Omar Mammah cited their Philippines counterparts while saying that the kidnappers had made the call a few days after the incident.
“However, we were not told how much ransom the kidnappers had demanded,” he stated.
The kidnappers took the fishermen to the Tawi Tawi island chain before heading to Jolo.
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