Cops nab ASG bandit involved in Sipadan kidnapping - TrueID

Cops nab ASG bandit involved in Sipadan kidnapping

Philippine News AgencySeptember 14, 2022

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities arrested Wednesday an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandit allegedly involved in the 2000 kidnapping in Sipadan, Malaysia, involving 21 Filipinos and foreigners.

Col. Richard Verceles, Area Police Command-Western Mindanao operations chief, said Mahari Aradji, 67, is facing a string of criminal cases, one of which who bolted from jail 13 years ago at the Sulu provincial jail.

Aradji was arrested through a warrant around 4 a.m. in Sitio Tugamot, Barangay Katian, Indanan, Sulu.

Verceles said Aradji has four standing warrants of arrest for double murder, murder with arson, murder, and illegal possession of firearms, with no bail recommended issued by the court of Parang, Sulu.

Aradji was a follower of the late Sulu-based ASG leader Ghalib Andang alias Commander Robot and was involved in kidnappings of foreigners and Filipinos and other terroristic activities.

The group of Andang gained international notoriety when they kidnapped 21 people—mostly Europeans—on April 23, 2000 from the dive resort island of Sipadan in Malaysia and brought the hostages to the hinterlands of Sulu.

Andang was captured on Dec. 8, 2003 and was shot dead together with other ASG leaders in a prison riot on Mar. 8, 2005 at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.

Verceles said Aradji was among the 12 inmates who escaped from the provincial jail of Sulu in January 2009.

He said Aradji was placed under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for proper disposition. (PNA)

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