SANDAKAN - Security forces have cut off sea borders with southern Philippines to stop suspected Filipino gunmen from fleeing Sabah.
The order was to intercept the gunmen as a massive hunt gets underway for at least four to six gunmen who staged a daring kidnap of two Malaysians from a busy seafood restaurant close to the town here on Thursday.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jamaluddin Abd Rahman said the navy and maritime helicopters were combing the sea borders together with all available vessels to intercept the suspects in the open sea.
"The order is to intercept the kidnappers tonight (Thursday)," he said in a statement at 11pm.
He said based on CCTV footage, four gunmen had arrived in a boat at the Restoran Ocean King Seafood using the rear stairway at about 7.30pm.
They immediately grabbed the restaurant manageress, Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, and a Sarawakian electrical consultant working in Cambodia, Bernard Chen, 39.
They fled in the boat towards open sea, he said, adding that three of them were in camouflaged uniforms while another was wearing camouflage pants and a blue t-shirt.
He said one of them was armed with a long gun with bullets strapped over his chest while another with a pistol," he said, adding that police would update the public with new developments.