SAMARINDA, Indonesia: The port authority here has confirmed that seven Indonesian crewmen of the TB Charles boat have been kidnapped by an unidentified group in Philippine waters.
“We can confirm the kidnapping. We are coordinating with the police and military to follow up on the report,” said the Samarinda Port Authority chief Col Yus Kusmany on Thursday.
“We were informed of the kidnapping by one of the crewmen, Syaril, who was on board the boat. We were in contact with him last at 10:20 am Thursday morning. The boat was in the area around Mangkaliat cape,” Kusmany said.
Seven of the boat’s crewmen were kidnapped while six others were released. The boat is expected to reach Samarinda on Friday afternoon.
The boat departed Samarinda on June 4 and was expected to return on June 27.
Terrorist group Abu Sayyaf has reportedly demanded a ransom of RM20mil from the owner of the boat, PT Rusianto Bersaudara, for the release of the hostages, according to the phone call received by Dian Megawati Ahmad, the wife of one of the kidnapped crewmen, Ismail, on Wednesday.
Samarinda Mayor Syaharie Jaang reportedly visited Rusianto Bersaudara to follow up on the report on Thursday. â€“ The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network