Discovery of abandoned Malaysia-registered boat in southern Philippines sparks fears of another abduction

SANDAKAN - Aa Malaysia-registered fishing boat was found abandoned in waters off Langawan island in the southern Philippines on Thursday (Jan 20) morning, with the authorities fearing another kidnap-for-ransom case.

Philippine security forces discovered the boat with no one onboard and its engine still running, reported the New Straits Times. It was learnt that three people were supposed to be on the Sandakan-registered vessel. The missing trio are said to be Indonesians aged between 26 and 47.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said the authorities received a report at 6pm on Thursday with regards to the discovery of the vessel.

"As of now, I can confirm that we have received the report and it happened in Philippine waters. They (the missing fishermen) could have been fishing outside Malaysian waters but we are waiting for full details from our counterparts," he told the New Straits Times.