Sunday, March 31, 2013

‘Datuk Seri’ on wanted list for funding Sulu incursion

Police personnel are seen checking identity papers of passengers on a road leading to Kampung Tanduo in this file photo. A ‘Datuk Seri’ is now on the police’s most wanted list for allegedly financing the invasion of Sulu militants in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

A “Datuk Seri” is on the police’s most wanted list for allegedly financing last month’s invasion of Sulu militants in Lahad Datu, Sabah, police said today.

The Star Online quoted Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib today as saying that Datuk Seri Muhammad Ridzwan Sulaiman, who last worked as president of the Al Ehsan Islamiah Malaysia Welfare Association, was believed to be from George Town, Penang.

“Anyone with any information on his whereabouts should come forward and assist police in locating him,” Hamza was quoted as saying in a press conference at Lahad Datu today.

Online reported Hamza as saying that Muhammad Ridzwan’s last known address was at Weld Quay in George Town.

It also quoted sources as saying that the police was hunting down Muhammad Ridzwan, who is in his 50s, to follow the money trail of the Sulu armed group.

Several other Malaysians are also reportedly being investigated for financing the armed followers of the Sulu sultanate that invaded Lahad Datu on February 9 to stake a claim on the Borneo state.

Broadcaster Astro AWANI reported Hamza today as saying that the police only had Muhammad Ridzwan’s photograph and no other information.

“The man can also surrender himself at nearby police stations,” Hamza was quoted as saying.

He added that 127 Sulu militants have been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Act (SOSMA), while 327 people have been arrested under other laws.

Eight Filipinos were charged on March 21 in Lahad Datu with terrorism and waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The case has been transferred to the Tawau High Court.

Astro AWANI reported today that 101 families have been relocated to Kampung Tanjung Labian, 25 families to Kampung Tanjung Batu and 54 families to Kampung Sungai Borah.

Hamza reportedly said that the authorities’ mopping-up exercise would continue at Kampung Sungai Bilis, Lok Sembuang and Lok Buani.

Malaysia launched “Ops Daulat” on March 5 to flush out the armed southern Filipinos after weeks of negotiation failed to result in a peaceful resolution.

As of last week, the incursion has resulted in the deaths of 63 Sulu militants, according to figures from Malaysian security forces, as well as 10 Malaysians, including eight policemen and two soldiers.

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