Abu Sayyaf frees Malaysian fish breeder
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – After 182 days in captivity, a Malaysian national was released by members of the Abu Sayyaf on Wednesday, December 10, a Malaysian online news site said.
The Star Online said a "shaken but unharmed" 32-year-old Chan Sai Chuin was transported back to Sandakan by a speedboat at around 6:45 am.
Reportedly, Malaysian negotiators along with Filipino counterparts finally reached an agreement with the militants at dawn on Wednesday, but it was unclear if ransom was paid for his release.
Chan, a fish breeder, was snatched by armed militants in his fish farm in Sapong Kunak last June 16.
The Star said 26-year-old Kons Zakiah Aleip, a Malaysian cop who was taken captive by armed men in Palau Mabul lastJuly 12, is still being held by the Abu Sayyaf in their camp.
Negotiations for his safe release is ongoing, the report said.
Chan's release came days after Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra was able to escape from the Abu Sayyaf while the military was conducting a massive operation in Talipao, Sulu.
Vinciguerra and Dutch national Ewold Horn were snatched by armed men while birdwatching in the village of Pangaran, Panglima Sugala, in February 2012.
Major Edilberto Aramponi, public affairs chief of the Joint Task Group Sulu, said the operation in Talipao is part of the intensified law enforcement operations launched by the military after the Abu Sayyaf released German nationals Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen in October this year.
Six government soldiers, including a junior officer, were killed on November 2 in an ambush staged by members of the Abu Sayyaf in the neighboring island province of Basilan.