Abu Sayyaf targeting kidnapping from vessels off East Malaysia

Vessels have been warned of potential kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf Group militants in the waters off East Malaysia.

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued a warning that according to the Philippines Coast Guard group of approximately five ASG members armed with assorted firearms is planning to conduct kidnapping activities in undisclosed areas in Sabah, Malaysia

“They are targeting wealthy businessmen or crew of fishing boats and other slow moving ships plying within the waters off Sabah, Malaysia,” ReCAAP said.

“Ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and in the Sulu-Celebes Seas.”

ASG has periodically targeted seafarers for kidnap in Sulu and Celebes sea area. Generally the group has targeted smaller vessels although has attacked larger merchant vessels sailing between Australia and China as well.

A very similar warning to the latest was issued by ReCAAP in October 2018.

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