KOTA KINABALU, April 9 – Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said Wednesday there has been more than one telephone call in connection with the abduction of two foreign women from a resort in Sabah on April 2. However, he declined to say who made the calls to whom or when or what was communicated. He said the safety of the women – a Chinese tourist and a Philippine resort worker – were of the utmost priority. The tourist, Gao Hua Yuan, 29, of Shanghai, and the resort worker, Marcy Dayawan alias Mimi, 40, were abducted at about 10.30 pm on April 2 by seven armed men from the Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort in Semporna.

Hamza said the women were safe in “a neighbouring country” and that the Malaysian police were in constant contact with the Philippine authorities and the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur over the incident. He also said that since last Sunday, the police had arrested 22 individuals aged between 16 and 60 for questioning in conjunction with the abduction. Only three of these people had valid travel documents while the rest were illegal immigrants, he said. However, eight of them, mostly women, were being held to aid the probe while the rest had been handed over to the Immigration Department to be repatriated to their countries, he said. Hamza also said that the police were working closely with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) to identify security weaknesses along the Sabah east coast.

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