Philippine cops in the dark over kidnapped M'sian duo

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Kota Kinabalu (The Star/ANN) - The Philippines police are in the dark over the two Malaysian cousins kidnapped by five gunmen from Lahad Datu in the east coast of Malaysian state of Sabah and reportedly taken across to southern Philippines three weeks ago.

"They have not been sighted in my area (Tawi Tawi chain of islands which lie between Sabah and the Philippines).

"Maybe they are still in your country," said Philippines Tawi Tawi provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Rodeleo Jocson when asked if the duo and their abductors had been spotted in any of the islands around Tawi Tawi.

The cousins - a 33-year-old manager and a 25-year-old assistant - were kidnapped from their family's oil palm plantation in Tungku, about 100 kilometres from Lahad Datu town, on November 14.

Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib said yesterday that they believed the gunmen and the cousins had slipped across the sea borders shortly after they were taken.

Though the kidnappers have yet to make contact with the families of the two, police here have reason to believe that they are alive and taking measures to help secure their safe return.

"There have been no calls for ransoms as yet," Hamza said.

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