Three Abducted in Suspected Abu Sayyaf Attack
The ReCAAP ISC has reported that three men were abducted from a vessel by 20 armed men believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines on December 5.
The name and type of the vessel the men were abducted from is uncertain, but local media outlets indicate that the men were taken from a fishing vessel. The crew, one Malaysian and two Indonesians, have been taken to Pata in the Sulu Province. One has since been released, according to some media reports.
The Star reports that the same group of armed men were involved in the shooting of a tugboat crew member during a botched kidnap attempt on the same day.
The fishing boat abductions are the second actual abductions reported in the region this year. The first occurred on board the fishing trawler Sri Dewi 1 on September 11. Two crewmen were abducted off Sabah; one was rescued on December 5.
There were three incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported in Asia in November 2018, reports ReCAAP ISC. One occurred in the South China Sea and two occurred at anchorages in Batangas, Philippines. Six incidents occurred in October, and 73 incidents occurred between January and November this year. This is a 15 percent decrease on the same period in 2017.
As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off eastern Sabah remains, ReCAAP ISC urges masters and crew to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the region.