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Ong Han Sean
Monday, Jun 2, 2014

Malaysia

Search for Briton widens at Tioman

The Star/ANN | Ong Han Sean | Monday, Jun 2, 2014

British man Gareth Huntley has been missing in Malaysia since going for a solo trek on May 27, 2014 pictured at an unknown location.

KUANTAN- Police have sent a team that includes a canine unit to search for Briton Gareth David Huntley, who went missing in Tioman Island.

Pahang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Sharifuddin Ab Ghani said 10 General Operations Force members with a canine unit of two personnel and a dog had been mobilised alongside 20 police and 11 Fire and Rescue Department personnel.

"Three Civil Defence Department personnel and two People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) members as well as a guide from the Forestry Department and marine police are also part of the search team."

SDCP Sharifuddin added, "Accusations that the police are not serious and not concerned are simply not true. We are still in the process of looking for Huntley and we will also get assistance from his cellphone network service provider to trace his last known location."

SDCP Sharifuddin said Huntley told the Juara Turtle Project staff of his plan to trek to the Lubuk Teja Waterfalls on May 27 but when the 34-year-old man did not return, workers at the turtle sanctuary went to look for him but to no avail.

"A police patrol team was told of Huntley's disappearance on May 28. Police also checked Huntley's room but only his clothes and laptop computer were found there.

"There are question marks here because there were no personal documents in the room. Huntley did not register at the guest house, too.

"Police only found out his name upon checking the Marine Department's registry. It appears that he entered the island on May 22," SDCP Sharifuddin told reporters here yesterday.

British newspaper The Guardian had reported Huntley's mother Janet Southwell as saying that she had yet to receive any contact from the Malaysian authorities and that not enough had been done after he had disappeared.

SDCP Sharifuddin said he had ordered Rompin OCPD Deputy Supt Johari Jahaya to notify the British High Commission immediately upon receiving the report of the missing man.

"We did not have any of Huntley's documents even if we had wanted to notify his family," adding that the British High Com­mission had been informed.

In Johor Baru, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said there was no criminal intent in Huntley's case.

"I have informed British officials of our efforts so far and they seem to be pleased with our actions," he said, adding that the issue was raised by British Defence Minister Philip Hammond during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Ninth Five Power Defence Arrangements here yesterday.

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