LAHAD DATU – Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) is hunting down the mastermind behind smuggling which is believed to contribute to cross border crimes such as kidnappings.
Its commander, Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said ESSCom has made smuggling in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) as a priority in defending the sovereignty and security of Sabah.
“I believe that kidnappings in ESSZone can be reduced if we can eradicate smuggling and hunt down the mastermind,” he said while briefing Tan Sri Shukry Salleh, the director-general of the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister’s Department, at ESSCom headquarters here, today.
Abdul Rashid said ESSCom had conducted 31 Ops Gasak since November last year which saw the arrest of 2,206 people for not possessing valid travel documents.
They comprised 1,452 men, 369 women, 171 boys and 215 girls.
A total of 6,155 people were inspected, mostly in water villages and resorts, aimed at ridding ESSZone of illegal immigrants.
Shukry, who led the ICU delegation, also visited PGA 17th Battalion based inÂ Lahad Datu and security posts, including Pulau Adal and Pulau Mabul.
ESSZone which stretches from Kudat to Tawau covers 1,733.7km in 10 districts; Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna, and Tawau.- BERNAMA