Gareth David Huntley photo made available by Help Us Find Gareth David Huntley Facebook group.

Gareth David Huntley photo made available by Help Us Find Gareth David Huntley Facebook group.

Police are intensifying the search for British tourist Gareth David Huntley, 34, missing since May 27 in Pulau Tioman, and have hence, refuted claims that police were not serious in handling the case.

Pahang police chief, Datuk Sharifuddin Ab Ghani said police, led by Rompin district police chief DSP Johari Jahaya, were serious in the search-and-rescue (SAR) operation for the Briton since he was reported missing.

On May 27, Huntley, who was staying at the Penyu Juara Chalet in Kampung Juara, Pulau Tioman, had gone to the Lubuk Teja waterfall area on the island alone around noon.

Two days later, his disappearance was reported at the Tioman police station after his friends and local residents failed to find him.

Sharifuddin said the SAR team comprising 30 personnel from police, marine police, state Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department, Rela and Forestry Department as well as local residents were now looking for the Briton, with the search radius extended to five kilometres from where he was believed missing.

“We disagree with the claims that police did not inform the victim’s family about his disappearance.

“After a police report was made on his disappearance, we informed the British High Commission (in Kuala Lumpur) to communicate with his family on the matter,” he told reporters, here, Sunday.

He said information on the Briton was obtained only from the Marine Department as Huntley had brought along his personal documents when he went to the waterfall here.

“We are also investigating why the chalet did not register the victim’s name when he checked into the chalet,” he added. — BERNAMA