Four Abducted From Tug in Philippines

Thursday, June 20, 2002
On June 17, seven armed men who abducted the master, chief officer, chief engineer and 2nd officer boarded the Singapore registered tugboat, SM 88. SM88, owned by Intone Pte Ltd was towing Labroy 179 between Jolo and Basilan Islands in the Philippines when a speedboat with 8 occupants armed with rifles approached the vessels. Prior to that, they fired a few warning shots in the air and demanded the tug to stop. Seven of the armed personnel boarded the tug and demanded that the Master, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer and 2nd Officer to board their speedboat. They then sped away with the 4 crew members towards Jolo Island. The kidnappers took from the tugboat a VHF radio, handheld walkie-talkies and a set of dividers. They also cut the cable of the VHF radio. The owners were notified by the crew. The agents had also notified the Philippines Coast Guard. The MPA is monitoring the situation closely through the ship's owners.
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