Posted on September 24, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

Seafarers are advised to exercise caution after pirates attacked a vessel off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia, kidnapping three crewmen in the process. 

 Maritime Piracy - Sabah, Malaysia - Kidnapping - September 23rd 2019

Category: Attack/Kidnapping

Date: 23rd of September

Location: Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia


A Malaysian fishing vessel was attacked by pirates during the afternoon hours of September the 23rd. At approximately 12:00 pm, seven men wearing masks attacked the vessel, kidnapping three of its crew members in the process. 

According to the initial reports, they were carrying a number of high-powered firearms such as M16s and pistols, as well as an RPG. 

They are believed to belong to the Kidnap for Ransom Group (KFRG); a Sulu-based offshoot of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) that is responsible for a number of terrorist acts in South East Asia. 

The fishing vessel was operating in the waters off Tambisan Island, Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia at the time of the attack. 

The attackers are believed to have fled towards Tawi-Tawi Island, Philippines, following the kidnapping. 

In response to the kidnapping, both Malaysian and Philippine authorities are increasing their maritime patrols and intensifying their military operations, in an effort to rescue the kidnapped crew members and effectively neutralize the terrorist group. 

This attack is somewhat unprecedented in the area, as most kidnappings usually occur under cover of darkness. This was the first such incident to happen in broad daylight. 


ARX Maritime provide commercial risk management for vessels trading in high-risk areas, making sure that vessels adopt and implement the best risk management practices.

As part of this service, ARX Maritime have designed the ABaC (anti-boarding and climbing) system. An anti-piracy barrier solution that denies pirates from boarding vessels that are vulnerable to attack in areas of high risk. The ARX ABaC system is designed to repel grappling hooks and ladders, significantly increasing the chances of company vessels and crew surviving unwanted pirate aggression. The ARX ABaC system is easily installed and provides a cost-effective alternative to razor wire.

Posted in Security , Piracy , Kidnapping , Malaysia , South East Asia

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