TANAH MERAH: To curb criminal activities, especially kidnapping which was getting rampant, the police will propose to the Sabah government to ban barter trade between the state's east coast communities and southern Philippine residents.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police would propose that both legal and illegal barter trade be stopped as many were capitalising on the situation.
"We hope the domestic trade, cooperative and consumerism ministry will take a serious view of the matter as we cannot allow our people to be threatened," he told reporters after opening a community policing programme here.
He was commenting on the kidnapping incident in Sandakan, Sabah last Thursday when four armed men raided the Ocean King Seafood Restaurant and took the female manager and a male customer.
Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, who is the sister-in-law of the restaurant manager, and Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39, of Sarawak were kidnapped in the 7.45pm incident.
In relation to the kidnapping, Khalid said the police had suggested to the state government to buy several high technology assets to monitor the waters off Sabah's east coast over a distance of 1,700km.
"The coastline is very wide...we cannot be stationing a boat at every 100 metres to maintain security. Therefore, the use of high technology assets is crucial now," he noted.
On human trafficking activities at the Malaysian-Thai border in the peninsula, he said about 300 VAT69 members had been directed to scour the thick jungles in the area.
Khalid said the search was carried out after Thai police discovered two camps believed to be a human trafficking syndicate's operation base early this month.
"We will present the findings of the search this weekend after receiving a report from VAT69," he added. In this regard, he said Malaysian and Thai police were forging closer ties in eradicating cross-border crimes.
"In my visit to Phuket, Thailand recently, we agreed to track down criminals wanted by police in both countries fleeing into either Malaysia or Thailand." - Bernama