Abu Sayyaf holds three kidnapped Indonesians in Sulu village

By: Stefyanie Myla Micheal, Zam Yusa

Kota Kinabalu: The three Indonesian fishermen kidnapped in waters off Tambisan island, Kinabatangan on Sept 23, are being held by the Abu Sayyaf group led by a sub-leader wanted by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) in a village in Indanan town, Sulu, southern Philippines, Daily Express has been able to confirm.

A terrorism researcher at Jakarta-based think-tank Galatea, Ulta Levenia Nababan, said the kidnappers [MSN: I assume they mean the hostages] are currently being held by Salip Mura’s group.

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Source: dailyexpress.com.my

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Philippines: Kidnappers Demand Ransom for British Man and Wife

The gunmen who abducted a British national and his Filipina wife have demanded 50 million pesos (almost U.S. $1 million) in exchange for their freedom, a Philippine military official said Thursday.

This came as the Philippine Coast Guard announced it had deployed its anti-terror unit and a high-speed boat to beef up the military’s search-and-rescue mission in the porous coastlines of the Zamboanga peninsula in the southern Philippines.

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Source: benarnews.org

MPA Tables Major Cybersecurity Collaboration

By Max Schwerdtfeger

The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has tabled a proposal to form and lead an initiative to increase maritime security called the ‘Port Authorities Chief Information Officer Cybersecurity Network” (PACC-Net).

The proposal was made at the 5th Edition of the Port Authorities (PAR) 2019 and the initiative will look to enhance cybersecurity awareness in the maritime sector and facilitate early sharing of cyber-attack information to counter threats.

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Source: porttechnology.org

Maritime piracy incidents down in Q3, yet Gulf of Guinea remains a hot spot

The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) report for the third quarter of 2019 demonstrates fewer incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first nine months of 2018.

119 incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships have been reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) in 2019, compared to 156 incidents for the same period in 2018. Overall, the 2019 incidents include 95 vessels boarded, 10 vessels fired upon, 10 attempted attacks, and four vessels hijacked. The number of crew taken hostage through the first nine months has declined from 112 in 2018 to 49 in 2019.

While the overall number of incidents has dropped, incidents involving guns and knives remain consistent. There have been 24 knife-related and 35 gun-related incidents reported in 2019, compared to 25 and 37 for the first nine months of 2018. These statistics confirm IMB’s concerns over continued threats to the safety and security of seafarers.

Gulf of Guinea

The Gulf of Guinea remains a high risk area  for piracy and armed robbery. The region accounts for 86% of crew taken hostage and nearly 82% of crew kidnappings globally.

In July a general cargo vessel was hijacked approximately 120nm SW from Brass. Ten crew members were kidnapped from the vessel and released four weeks later. In August a bulk carrier and a general cargo vessel were boarded within hours of each other at Douala anchorage, Cameroon and a total of seventeen crew were kidnapped from the vessels. Within six weeks all kidnapped crew were released.  This incident demonstrates the range of piracy activity in the Gulf of Guinea and that all types of ships are vulnerable to attack. Lagos recorded 11 incidents in 2019, the highest number for any port.

Lagos recorded 11 incidents in 2019 – the highest number of any port in the world. Despite reporting more attacks than any other country, Nigeria has reduced Q3 piracy attacks from 41 in 2018 to 29 in 2019.

“Although incidents are down, the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a concern for piracy and armed robbery-related activities with kidnappings of crew members increasing in both scale and frequency,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director, ICC IMB. “It is important that shipmasters and owners continue to report all actual, attempted, and suspected incidents to ensure that an accurate picture of these attacks emerge and  action is taken against these criminals before the incidents further escalate.”

Continued improvement in Indonesia

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported a decline in overall piracy related incidents with 20 actual and attempted attacks for the first nine months of 2019. Over the past five years, Indonesia has gradually reduced its share of piracy related incidents. As recent as 2015, Indonesia reported 86 actual and attempted piracy incidents through Q3. Indonesia’s impressive gains can be attributed to continued information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and the IMB PRC.

No incidents in Somalia, but threats remain

Meanwhile, Somalia has no piracy-related incidents recorded for the first nine months of 2019. Although no incidents have been reported, Somali pirates continue to possess the capacity to carry out attacks in the Somali basin and wider Indian Ocean. As a result, the IMB PRC advises ship owners to remain cautious when transitting these waters.

Global anti‐piracy support

Since 1991 the IMB PRC’s 24-hour manned centre, has provided the maritime industry,  governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed  robbery incidents – received directly from the Master  of the vessel or its owners.

The  IMB  PRC’s  prompt  forwarding  of  reports  and  liaison  with  response  agencies,  its  broadcasts to shipping via Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Safety Net  Services and email alerts to Company Security Officers, all provided free of cost, has helped  the response against piracy and armed robbery and the security of seafarers, globally.

IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected  piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC globally. This first step in the response  chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy.  Transparent statistics from an independent, non- political, international organization can act  as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

Source: iccwbo.org

AFP eyes Abus in kidnap of British man, wife

Jaime Laude

MANILA, Philippines — With still no contact or proof of life, authorities believe that a British businessman and his wife who were snatched in a coastal village in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur and their captors are constantly on the move.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the kidnappers are on the run with their victims to evade government forces.

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Source: philstar.com

Curfew in ESSZone extended until Oct 23

KOTA KINABALU (Oct 8): The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), which ends today, has been extended to Oct 23, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah.

The curfew from 6pm to 6am covers the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran, he said in a statement on Monday (Oct 7).

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Source: theedgemarkets.com

Sabah police will not negotiate ransom demands made by Abu Sayyaf-linked kidnappers

KOTA KINABALU — The Malaysian police are working with their Philippine counterparts to secure the release of three Indonesian fishermen kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen off Lahad Datu on Sept 23.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said the kidnappers made their ransom demand during a call to one of the victim’s sisters in Sandakan on Sept 30.

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Source: globalnation.inquirer.net