ReCAAP, the Asian piracy watchdog, has issued a warning of potential attacks on ships in and around Philippine waters.
The Philippine Coast Guard has provided information that a group of approximately 10 Abu Sayyaf members armed with pistols, rifles and grenade launchers are planning to conduct kidnapping activities in Sabah primarily targeting the crew of foreign vessels passing through the area. They are using unmarked coloured blue and white motor bancas locally known as jungkong.
Ship masters and crew are being urged to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and the Sulu-Celebes Sea.
Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim terror group operating out of the south of the Philippines, was especially active in the kidnapping of crews in 2016 and 2017.