THREE foreigners, including a Spanish couple, who have been missing in Malaysia since May 2, are thought to have been on a boat that sunk, an official has commented.
A senior coastguard, Mohamad Zubil Mat Som, reported that Malaysian fishermen have recovered a boat engine over the weekend which did, in fact, belong to the missing vessel.
The small vessel is thought to have sunk and now divers are being used in the area where the boat engine was found, he said.
The coast guard said in a statement: “We will seek the assistance of the local fishermen to drag a large net across the ocean floor.”
During bad weather, the boat and passengers went missing off the Malaysian coast near Borneo and have been identified as Spanish nationals Hernandez Gasulla and Martha Miguel, and Hong Kong citizen Tommy Lam Wai Yin. There was also a Malaysian national on the boat who has been named as just Ella.
In recent years, Islamic militants from the Abu Sayyaf group have been blamed for multiple kidnappings off Sabah, although officials are remaining tight-lipped about whether they believe pirates were involved.
On May 1, 10 Indonesian sailors were released after being kidnapped in late March from their tugboat.
Although in March, the Abu Sayyaf group beheaded John Risdel, a Canadian tourist after demanding a $21 million in ransom.