SANDAKAN: A Malaysian, Mohd Amin Baco, who is now the Islamic State militant chief in southern Philippines, is one of 16 individuals wanted by Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) for alleged involvement in militancy and transborder crimes.
Also in the list is former Malaysia lecturer Dr Mahmud Ahmad, who was reportedly shot dead in October last year. He remains on Esscom's list as there is no evidence provided to the Malaysian authorities of his death despite news reports.
Esscom Commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali said there are six new names among the 16 in the wanted list and that most of them are Filipinos.
He said those on the list are wanted for crimes committed within the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone) and their involvement in militant activities.
Also in the list are Alden Bagde and Idang Susukan, believed to be responsible for the beheading of Malaysian Bernard Then Ted Fen, after he was kidnapped from a seafood restaurant in Sandakan three years ago.
Hazani said Esscom has identified three Filipino kidnap-for-ransom groups who are active in cross border crimes, including intrusions into Malaysia waters.
"Based on the kidnapping trend involving these groups since 2016, their main targets are slow moving trawlers and tugboats,” he said.
"We are taking various measures through collaborations with the Philippines and Indonesia to tackle cross border crimes which is the main threat within Esszone," he said.