A former police officer implicated in the 2011 Abu Sayyaf kidnapping of an Australian national was arrested by operatives of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Friday in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, police said on Monday.
Arrested was dismissed Senior Police Officer 2 Jun Malban, a cousin of Abu Sayyaf leaders Khair Mundos and Borhan Mundos.
Malban was nabbed by joint PNP-AKG and NBI operatives at the immigration office in Lahad Datu in Sabah by virtue of an arrest warrant for kidnapping-for-ransom issued by Judge Josefino Bael of the Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Regional Trial Court Branch 24.
The ex-policeman has been under custody of Malaysian authorities since April 28 for violation of immigration laws. Malaysian police turned Malban over to Philippine authorities after they were furnished a copy of his warrant of arrest.
PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) director Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo said Australian kidnap victim Warren Rodwell said Malban, who was then using the name Michael Soo/Zue, served as the negotiator between the Abu Sayyaf Group and the government during his captivity in Ipil, Zamboanga Del Sur in December 2011.
Rodwell was released on March 23, 2013 allegedly after a ransom of $100,000 brokered by Malban was paid. However, neither the Philippine nor the Australian government acknowledged such payment.
Malban, who was assigned at the Police Security and Protection Group from August 2005 to July 2012, was dismissed after he went on AWOL (absence without official leave) status following Rodwell’s release.
Fajardo said close coordination by the PNP, NBI, and PAOCC with Malaysian authorities and the Interpol made Malban’s arrest possible.
Malban is now detained at the PNP-AKG office in Camp Crame, Quezon City.