KUALA LUMPUR: The number of maritime kidnappings hit a ten-year high in 2016, with waters off the southern Philippines becoming increasingly dangerous, the International Maritime Bureau said on Tuesday. While the overall number of pirate attacks has declined in recent years, the IMB said 62 people worldwide were kidnapped for ransom at sea last year compared to only 19 in 2015 and nine in 2014. “The kidnapping of crew from ocean-going merchant vessels in the Sulu Sea and their transfer to the southern Philippines represents a notable escalation in attacks,” the IMB said in a report. It urged shipowners to avoid the Sulu Sea, which lies between eastern Malaysia and the Philippines, by routing ships to the west of Borneo island. In a string of incidents in the Sea … Next...
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