As of 30 June 2020, the kidnapping threat in Sabah and Semporna, Malaysia, targeting foreigners and the abduction of crew from ships passing by the Tawi-Tawi and Sabah waters, still stands, the Philippine Coast Guard informed ReCAAP ISC.
This follows a similar warning by the ReCAAP ISC on 22 May about a group of five Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members planning to conduct kidnapping activities in undisclosed areas in Sabah, Malaysia.
According to information from the Philippine Coast Guard (ReCAAP Focal Point), on 21 June 2020, five members of the Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-for-Ransom Group (ASG/KFRG) were sighted in Barangay Sipangkot, Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi onboard a white with yellow and orange stripes speedboat powered by 250HP Yamaha engine.
As such, the ReCAAP ISC advises greater maritime situational awareness for mariners operating in the area.
Ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and in the Sulu-Celebes Seas.