Pirates kill one Vietnam sailor, hold six others hostage
The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - During their attack onto the Vietnamese-flagged ship Giang Hai in the Philippine waters on Sunday, pirates gunned down sailor Vu Duc Hanh and abducted six crew members, according to local media.
On Monday evening, Giang Hai with 17 crew members carrying cement from Indonesia to the Philippines came under a pirate attack when approaching Sulu Island of the Philippines.
A representative of International Ocean Shipping JSC, the owner of Giang Hai, said in a VnExpress report that as soon as the pirates fled, seven crew members were found missing. Vu Duc Hanh, a 21-year-old Hai Phong City native, was found dead behind the pilot house while six others including Captain Bui Xuan Vien had been kidnapped.
The equipment on board Giang Hai was smashed and the ship was left adrift until another Vietnamese vessel reached to offer help.
The nearby ship Aquamarine Gas received information from the hijacked vessel and informed Vietnam authorities of the pirate attack.
Currently, the ship is at anchor at Sandakan port, Malaysia. Philippine coast guard officers have got aboard for an investigation.
International Ocean Shipping JSC said they had contacted the crew members and was doing paperwork to bring the killed sailor home. The shipowner intends to let Giang Hai get to Sandakan port for repair, add crew members and depart to Iloloi (the Philippines) to discharge cargo.
The Ministry of Transport of Vietnam said it notified the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the incident on February 20 to seek support from Philippine authorities and request the pirates to release the kidnapped.
Reuters on February 20 reported the Vietnamese-flagged ship ran into an ambush near Baguan Island in Tawi-Tawi, an area close to the stronghold of the notorious Abu Sayyaf militant group.
An investigation was underway and the coast guard had launched a pursuit in coordination with the military and police, said coastguard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo.
Before the latest attack, the militants were holding 27 hostages, according to a tally of reports about kidnappings and a few releases. The captives are Indonesian, Malaysian and Vietnamese seamen, as well as Filipinos, a Dutchman, a German and a Japanese national.