KOTA KINABALU - A hunt is on for six men including the infamous Muktadir brothers who are believed to be linked to various cross-border crimes in Sabah.
The brothers and their accomplices are believed to have been moving in and out of the state to the Philippines for kidnap-for-ransom activities, smuggling and other cross-border crimes during the past year here.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said the six identified as Badong, Ali @ Brown, Nikson - believed to be the Muktadir brothers; Bocai @ Komander Black, Wahab, and Alex - might have blended well with local communities in east coast Sabah.
"They are basically 'locals' and that is why we need assistance from the people in Sabah's east coast to cooperate with the police and provide us information as to where these men are (if they know)," he said on Monday.
"We need them to facilitate in police investigations pertaining to cross-border crimes here," he added, without elaborating further.
Rashid said they were also depending on intelligence sources to locate these men.
"We don't know for sure where they are at the moment, but believe they are in and out of Sabah all the time," he said.
According to sources, the brothers are believed to be based in a water village in Sitangkai Island in the Tawi Tawi chain of islands that straddles Sabah's east coast.
It is learnt that they used to live in Semporna when their father worked as a security guard in the district before he became a notorious pirate operating in Semporna waters from the southern Philippines.