MANILA - Local authorities in Sabah have imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in waters off 6 east coast districts amid a spate of kidnappings there.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said the curfew, which is from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the following day, covers the waters off Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak, and Tawau.
“We would like to call the attention of our nationals who frequently ply this route to visit family members, for barter trading and other purposes to exercise utmost caution in going in these areas to avoid inconvenience. It would also be best if their trips would be done during daytime to ensure proper visibility, especially in cases of inclement seas,” Consul General Medardo Macaraig said.
The curfew started last July 19.
Anyone found violating the curfew area could be arrested under Section 3(2) of the Malaysian Police Act 1967 and charged under Section 94. Violators could be punished with a RM500 (around PhP 6,600) fine or six-month imprisonment.
Sixty-nine (69) individuals, including 10 women, have so far been detained, as well as 11 boats reportedly impounded, for alleged violation of the curfew.
Those who need to enter or pass through the areas will need to obtain a permit from the district police chief.
The 6 areas are considered hotspots by Malaysian authorities.