Police have identified a 30-year-old bomb expert, Mohd Amin Bacho, as the mastermind behind the kidnapping of two cousins in Lahad Datu last year
The suspect is a member of Darul Islam Sabah, which is known to have links with the Abu Sayyaf militants - who are notorious for their kidnappings and demands for ransom.
Mohd Amin, who is from Sabah, was revealed to be a cruel mercenary and is believed to have helped assemble explosive materials for several terror attacks southern Philippines recently.
He has now also been established as the key man behind the kidnapping of Tung Wee Jie and Tung Wee Wei, is on the most wanted list of the Malaysian police and their counterparts in the Philippines.
The Star today reported Special Task Force (Operations and Counter Terrorism) Director Comm Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun as saying that Mohd Amin was one of seven men who ambushed and kidnapped Wee Jie, 26, and Wee Wei, 34, on Nov 14, 2012.
“We are in contact with our counterparts in the Philippines to assist in the capture of Mohd Amin so that he can be held responsible for militant activities in Malaysia as well as neighbouring countries,” he was quoted as saying.
The suspect was identified following Wee Jie's escape from his captors on Aug 4.
“He (Wee Jie) identified Mohd Amin based on pictures of several suspects that we showed him,” said Fuzi.
Mohd Amin, he said, is believed to have worked together with six members of the Abu Sayyaf group to kidnap the cousins.
“Wee Jie also told us that Mohd Amin was with the group throughout his captivity. He told us that Mohd Amin spoke to him in English and Bahasa Malaysia with a Sabah accent."
Fuzi also disclosed that Mohd Amin was part of an open investigation under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 for his involvement in the Darul Islam Sabah militant group.
Wee Jie and Wee Wei were kidnapped by armed men from their family plantation in Tambisan, Lahad Datu and was taken to Jolo island in the Philippines, a stronghold of the militant group, who are associated with al-Qaeda.
Until April 17, the cousins were kept chained in a bamboo hut and were fed with rice and salted fish. They were later separated when Wee Wei fell sick and the armed men told Wee Jie that his cousin had been sent to the hospital.
Wee Jie managed to unshackle himself using a fork and was later reunited with his family in Port Dickson after he was flown here last Wednesday.
Police in the Philippines had reportedly said that they were planning to comb the area where Wee Jie had been held to locate the latter's cousin.
“We have yet to confirm if Wee Wei died in captivity,” Fuzi said. - August 15, 2013.