SULU – A suspected member of Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group who was allegedly involved in the Samal Island kidnapping incident was arrested in Talipao, Sulu late last week.
Chief Inspector Norlito Mata, the chief of Talipao Municipal Police Station, identified the suspect as Arkam Baridji, who was identified as one of those who participated in the kidnapping of three foreigners and a Filipina from a resort.
The captives included Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipina Marites Flor.
Ridsdel and Hall were killed by the bandits after their families failed to meet ransom demands.
Flor was released in June 2016, while Sekkingstad followed after three months.
Mata said they established a security checkpoint in Sitio Bayog, Barangay Samak, where they apprehended Baridji and his companion, identified as Arnajel Dahim.
Police officers seized a revolver and ammunition from Dahim. They also found 4 sachets of alleged “shabu” on the suspect.
Baridji and Dahim were brought to the municipal police station for investigation.
Mata said they were able to verify the identity of Baridji, who has a standing arrest warrant for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Baridji was temporarily detained at the Jolo Municipal Police Station before being transported to Panabo City, Davao del Norte for court hearings.
The police also filed criminal cases against Dahim for illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs.