PETALING JAYA - Two siblings known as the Muktadil Brothers are believed to be behind Thursday's abduction of a restaurant owner and customer at a popular seaside restaurant in Sandakan.
According to Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the incident happened at around 7.40pm at the Ocean King resturant at Jalan Batu Sapi in Sandakan.
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police have not ruled out militants in carrying out the daring abduction.
The two victims were identified as Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, the manager of the restaurant, and Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39, an electrical consultant based in Cambodia.
"Four kidnappers went to the restaurant using two M16 guns and a pistol. We could not get the boat description. Early intelligence believes that the Muktadil Brother are behind this," said Ahmad Zahid.
At least four men, believed linked to the Abu Sayyaf kidnap group, had stormed into the restaurant causing the patrons to flee.
Police have been keeping a lookout for the brothers believed to be key suspects in cross border kidnapping and murder in the state.
They believed the Muktadil brothers were still at large in their native southern Philippines.
Nilson Muktadil, who is his 30s, and his 40-something brother Badong @ Adzmil Muktadil, are the main culprits in a number of kidnapping cases in the state's east coast.
The Star had reported that the Muktadil brothers were born to a life of violent crime, specialising in cross-border kidnapping.
The brothers were part of the southern Philippines' Tawi-Tawi island-based kidnap-for-ransom group.
He said Nilson had lived in Kampung Bangau-Bangau and was believed to be involved in the April 2 kidnapping of Chinese tourist Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipino worker Marcy Dayawan, 40.
Together with his sibling, they are believed to have over 40 men for their kidnap-for-ransom activities and four boats equipped with 40HP to 70HP outboard engines.