The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has issued a further warning of the risk of kidnap in Sabah, Malaysia, following on from their earlier warning on 22 May of 5 armed pirates in the area.
On 2nd July ReCAAP received information from the Philippine Coast Guard (ReCAAP Focal Point) that on the 21st June, 2020, five members of the Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-For-Ransom-Group (ASG/KFRG) were sighted in Barangay, Sipangkit, Sitanhkai, Tawi-Tawi on board a white with yellow and orange stripes speedboat, powered by a 250HP Yamaha engine.
The Philippine Coast Guard added that as of 30 June 2020, the plan to carry out kidnapping in Sabah and Semporna, Malaysia, targeting foreigners, wealthy businessmen, fishing boat crew, and other slow-moving vessels passing Tawi-Tawi and Sabah waters still stands.
Ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance when
transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and in the Sulu-Celebes Seas.
Thee 22nd May warning advised that a group of approximately 5 ASG members armed with assorted firearms, planning to conduct kidnapping activities in undisclosed areas in Sabah, Malaysia. The group came from Sulu and was monitored to have landed at Omapoy Island, Sipangkit, Sitangkai, Tawi Tawi.
Source: Philippine Coast Guard