The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has recovered the barge registered under ‘Anand 12’ believed to be from the tugboat hijacked by Abu Sayyaf militants in Philippine waters on March 26.
Sandakan District Maritime director, Maritime Capt A. Razak Abd Rahman said the barge was from a tugboat, ‘Brahma 12’ that was on its way back to the Philippines from islands around Borneo.
He said the barge was found yesterday at 1.05 pm, off Tungku, here.
“For the search operation which began at 10.30 am, the MMEA deployed two assets, its Bot Kilat 51 and Banggi 35, while the marine police team, its Bot PA 47.
“The barge was found with assistance from the Eastern Sabah Security Command and Marine police,” he said in a statement here today.
A.Razak said the barge was believed to have drifted away from Alice Reef in the Philippines and entered Malaysian waters.
When found, it was 8.4 nautical miles northeast of the Tun Sharifah Rodziah platform and 13.7 southeast of Tanjung Tungku.
“There was no one on the barge which was carrying about 7,000 metric tonnes of coal,” he said.
In the incident on March 26, the tugboat and barge were seized by Abu Sayyaf militants who abducted the crew of 10 comprising Indonesians for ransom.