Saturday, November 12, 2016

Abu Sayyaf hijacks Vietnam-flagged vessel off Basilan

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 11): Abu Sayyaf hijacks Vietnam-flagged vessel off Basilan

Ten gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) brigands have hijacked early Friday a Vietnam-flagged cargo vessel and seized six people, including five officers, off Basilan province.

Commander Jerome Cayabyab, Zamboanga Coastguard Station commander, said the incident could have taken place at dawn but was reported to them around 7 a.m. by the captain of M/V Lorcon-Ilo-ilo that provided initial assistance to the Vietnam-flagged vessel, M/V Royal 16, in distress.  The M/V Lorcon (Lorenzo Container)-Ilo-ilo vessel was passing near Sibago Island, Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, when it spotted M/V Royal 16 and provided assistance.

The Lorcon-Ilo-ilo vessel transported one of the Vietnam-flagged vessel crew identified as Dham Yan Trong, an electrician, to a local hospital.

Trong was accompanied to the hospital by Lai Minh Khao, the fourth engineer.  “The gunmen shot him (Trong) when he run as they were about to take him,” Cayabyab said based on the information Khao relayed to them.

Cayabyab said they have yet to establish the identities of those abducted by the gunmen that included the boat captain, chief mate, second officer, third officer, bosun (boatswain), and a seaman.

He also said that it was not immediately known as to the point of origin and destination of M/V Royal 16 including its cargo.

“We have yet to board the vessel (M/V Royal 16) to get the other details,” he added.  He said they have deployed a vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel manned by coastguard personnel to escort the M/V Royal 16 to the port of this city.

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