Suspect in Dos Palmas and Sipadan kidnapping arrested in Tawi-Tawi

MANILA, Philippines – an Abu Sayyaf (ASG) member wanted for series of high-profile kidnapping incidents in the past has been arrested by government security in a remote village in Tawi-Tawi, reports said Wednesday.

Arabi Sali, alias “Amil Sali” was arrested at his safehouse at Brgy. Datu Halun st., Bongao town on late Tuesday afternoon, reports reaching the PNP operations center in Camp Crame said.

The reports said, Sali was reportedly involved in several high-profile kidnapping incidents in the past notably the kidnapping of foreign and local tourists in a resort in Dos Palmas, Palawan and Sipadan, Palau.

Sali was arrested by combine elements of the Bongao Municipal Police Station, PNP-Special Action Force and intelligence operations of the PNP’s Directorate for Integrated Police Operations of Western Mindanao.

Sali was arrested base on warrant of arrest issued by the Pasig City Regional Trial court for kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection in the kidnappings of foreigners and local tourists in 2001 and 2002.

The suspect is presently detained at the Bongao Municipal Police station waiting order for his transport to Zamboanga City before he will be turned over to the proper court for disposition, the reports said.

Among those personalities kidnapped by the ASG in Dos Palmas were businessman Regis Romero and American missionary couple, Martin and Gracia Burnham.

Romero was later freed by the ASG in following payment of ‘board and lodging’ fee in Basilan, while Martin was killed in a crossfire between ASG and government troops during rescue operation in Zamboanga peninsula where Gracia was recovered. Anthony Vargas

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