MANILA - Malaysian authorities believe several individuals from Sabah have been sending money to Filipino militants in Jolo Island in Mindanao, a report from the Bernama news agency said Tuesday.
The report quoted Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar saying that several individuals in Sandakan and Semporna are under surveillance and would be arrested for treason for sending money to Filipino militants.
If convicted, these individuals could face life imprisonment or even death for committing treason.
The police official said Malaysian forces have arrested 429 people suspected to have participated or supported a move by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of self-styled Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III, to press their family's claim over Sabah.
Of this number, 42 have been released.
Malaysian authorities filed terrorism-related charges against 8 Filipinos who participated in the incursion of Kiram supporters in the area of Lahad Datu.
Thirty-eight alleged members of the Sultanate of Sulu's Royal Security Force (RSF) intercepted off the seas of Tawi-tawi are also facing charges before a Tawi-tawi court for violations of Art. 118 of the Revised Penal Code (Inciting to war and giving motives for reprisals) and the Comelec gun ban.