Skip to main content




Malaysian police nab 10 after fish bombing deaths in Sabah

Malaysian police nab 10 after fish bombing deaths in Sabah

Sabah Police Commissioner Omar Mammah said the ten people detained were handed over to the police for further investigation. (Photo: Bernama)

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian police have detained 10 people and inspected 95 fishing boats in Semporna waters in an operation that ended on Monday (Jul 8), following a fish bombing incident that killed two Chinese tourists and a diving instructor in the area last Friday.

The Marine Police Force covered the eastern waters of Sabah as well as the Kunak and Lahad Datu districts.

“The 10 people detained have no identification documents and have been handed over to Semporna district police for further investigation,” Sabah Police Commissioner Omar Mammah said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Investigations were done to find out if they were involved in fish bombing activities.”

READ: Malaysian police hunting suspects behind 'fish bomb' that killed 3, including tourists

Police had earlier detained a boatman and his assistant to aid in the investigations.

Omar said police concluded that the cause of death was fish bombing based on several factors, despite the lack of witnesses.

He said that those who were at the scene to help rescue the victims noticed sea foam rising up the surface. 

Dead fish and broken coral were found in the area and fragments of broken coral were also on the body of one of the victims.


Tawau Hospital on Tuesday started postmortem on the three victims.

Diving instructor Zainal Abdun (on phone screen) was one of the three people found dead at Kalapuan Island while scuba diving on Jul 5, 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

Abdun Jamarun, the father of 30-year-old diving instructor Zainal Abdun, said he wants to wait for the full report of the postmortem before deciding whether to lodge a police report.

He said that his son will be buried at the Kampong Halo Muslim Cemetery in Bangau-Bangau, Semporna.

"We will bury his remains today, even if the body is released at night," he said. 

Dive instructor Zainal Abdun, who died in a diving accident said to be caused by fish bombing on Jul 5, 2019. (Photo: Facebook / Cahaya Sari Puspa)

The bodies of Chinese nationals Zhao Zheng and Xu Yingjie, who were both 26, will be cremated at the crematorium at Sin Onn Tiku Road.

Zhao Zheng’s uncle Zhao Wei Hua said their ashes will be taken to Semporna to be scattered in the sea where the bodies were found.

“We pray so that the souls of the two victims will reach Beijing," said Zhao, who arrived in Kota Kinabalu on Sunday.

Zhao and Xu, who were IT engineers in China, were said to be good friends who studied together at the Ta-Lien University in Liaoning. They were both the only child in their families.

Zainal had reportedly taken both of them on several diving expeditions in Semporna. The two were said to have taken this trip to apply for instructors' licences.

The three of them were found dead at Kalapuan Island while scuba diving on Friday.


Also worth reading