Concern Abu Sayyaf might be targeting ships again

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre, an Asian piracy monitoring organisation, today issued a warning based on information from the Philippine Coast Guard about an incident involving a bulk carrier, Akij Pearl, off Sibutu Island near the Malaysian state of Sabah.

On Wednesday morning while the 56,045 dwt bulk carrier was underway, an unidentified speedboat with three perpetrators onboard attempted to board the ship. The master reported the incident to the Philippine Navy Littoral Monitoring Station. There was no mention if the perpetrators were armed.

“As the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-for-Ransom Group (ASG/FRG) elements are based in the area of the incident, the ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and in the Sulu-Celebes Seas, in particular waters off Sibutu Island,” ReCAAP ISC stated in an alert.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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