Many of Abu Sayyaf-kidnapped crew still being held

There have been 58 crew abducted since March 2016, with 21 still in captivity, ReCAAP ISC reports in its just-published Part III of its special report on the Abducting of crew from ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah.

There were 22 abduction incidents, mostly claimed by criminal terrorist gang Abu Sayyaf, between March 2016 and March 2017, of which nine were failed attempts. ReCAAP ISC said that the attacks appeared to be opportunistic rather than targeted against specific nations, reinforcing the belief that the main motive is economic rather than political. The ships attacked were registered in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Marshall Islands, Singapore, Norway and Antigua and Barbuda. Of the crew abducted, 27 were Indonesians, 11 were Vietnamese, 10 were Filipinos, nine were Malaysians and one was Korean.

Pirates fired continuously at the Antigua and Barbuda-registered container ship Ocean Kingdom on January 3rd 2017. Two crewmen were wounded when shots were fired into their cabin doors when pirates attacked Vietnam-registered bulk carrier Royal 16 on November 11th 2016. One of the crewmen on Vietnam-registered general cargo ship Giang Hai was fatally shot on February 19th 2017, when he tried to stop the pirates reaching the bridge. Six crew were abducted, of whom one was reportedly killed by the pirates during transport and his body was thrown overboard. Most incidents occurred during daylight.