Posted on November 22, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

The Philippines-based Jihadist militant group, Abu Sayyaf (ASG) has officially made a ransom demand in order to guarantee the release of their latest kidnap victims.

The terrorist group has demanded a total of RM2.45 mil (estimated at approximately almost half a million pounds) to ensure the release of the three seafarers captured earlier in the year.

The ransom demand was released on November the 16th. In the video recording, one of the kidnapped seafarers can be seen making the plea for their safe return.

The three seafarers have been identified as Maharudin Lunani, 48 who had been captured alongside his son, Muhammad Farhan, 27, and chis nephew, Samiun Maneu, 27.

The captured men are Indonesian nationals who had been working in Malaysia during the incident.

“We were caught by the Abu Sayyaf Group on Sept 24, 2019. We hope our boss, our employer, will help secure our freedom. We ask the Indonesian president to help free us. The ASG has demanded 30 million pesos in ransom,” said Mr Lunani during the recording.

Local reports suggest that one of the victims’ family member had also received a similar ransom demand at an earlier date.

According to Jakarta-based think tank Galatea, the kidnapping victims are being held by one Sailp Mura, an ASG sub-leader operating in the region. Galatea has also revealed that the local ASG sub-group has grown following the kidnapping.

While their sub-group originally consisted of 10-20 members, they seem to have increased their manpower to over 50-60 fully armed members.

Sabah Police Commissioner, Datuk Omar Mammah has confirmed the ransom demand as legitimate.

Posted in Security , Terrorism , Kidnapping , Piracy , Philippines , South East Asia

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