Reports coming from Sabah suggest that Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists have kidnapped 10 crew from two fishing boats early on Tuesday 18th.
Media reports state that the incidents near Borneo Island, when two speedboats approached two fishing vessels. “Pirates” boarded the boats at around 2am LT, confiscated documents likely to relate to the nationality of the crew members, and then took 10 hostages before fleeing towards Sitangkai Island in the Philippines. The fishing boats were believed to be operating during curfew hours without a permit, according to a report in The Straits Times. The remaining crew were picked up by the MMEA.
The incident comes after a prolonged lull in kidnapping activities by the group. However, the loss of hostages in recent rescues and killings would suggest that the group is now looking to increase its funds by further Kidnap For Ransom efforts.
The incident prompted Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to call for further security measures in Sabah, an area which has seen cross border criminality and kidnapping at sea in recent years.