The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has released a report that the crews of two Malaysian flagged fishing boats were abducted in the waters off Sabah on Tuesday, June 18.
The two fishing boats were reportedly in Lahad Datu’s Tambisan waters and heading towards Semporna in Sabah when they were hijacked by heavily armed men on a jungkong-type watercraft at around 02:45 local time.
The perpetrators are said to have taken four of the six crew members in the first fishing boat and six of the 10 crew members in the second boat.
The boats were last sighted in the vicinity of Tawi-Tawi province in the Southern Philippines at 03:30 on June 18.
ReCAAP believes the perpetrators to be members of the Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine-based terror group known to be affiliated with both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS).
Philippine authorities are stepping up patrol efforts, conducting pursuit operations, and intensifying the military presence in the area to rescue the abducted crew, the ReCAAP report added.
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