Posted on December 11, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
Three crew members of an as-of-yet undisclosed vessel were abducted on December the 5th, in the vicinity of Lahad Datu, Sabah, near the Philippine border.
A group of about 20 men armed with firearms, boarded the vessel and abducted the crew.
According to local media, the kidnapped men, one Malaysian and two Indonesian nationals, were first taken to Pata Island before being moved to Panamao Town.
“They were abducted on Wednesday. One of the victims apparently made contact with a family member late Thursday night. The sources also disclosed that the family member was urged to seek the assistance of the Indonesian consulate,” the Malaysian media reported.
The abductors are believed to be members of the terrorist organization known as Abu Sayyaf (ASG), whose leaders have pledged allegiance to ISIS. ASG is one of the most violent jihadist groups in the Southern Philippines, with a reputation for kidnapping crew for ransom.
This latest incident makes evident the fact that Abu Sayyaf have returned to kidnapping crew in the Sulu-Celebes sea. This is the 2nd kidnapping to have occurred in the area in the space of the last four months.
The first incident occurred on September the 18th, when the ASG attacked the fishing trawler, Sri Dewi, and made off with two of its crew in the process, one of which, was successfully rescued by local authorities just last week.