Armed pirates have kidnapped two crewmembers of the Ro-Ro vessel Super Shuttle near Sibago Island, in the Celebes Sea just off the coast of the Philippines.
Allegedly part of the Filipino Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf, the pirates took the captain of the ship along with its chief engineer. The vessel was travelling south from the central Philippines before being hijacked by armed men in three speed boats.
Data provided by MarineTraffic shows that the boat is currently anchored in Zamboanga, while the event comes only hours after two Malaysian tug boat crewmembers were rescued by Philippine officials after being held by the same militant group for the last eight months.
Cocaine on Container Ship
Meanwhile in South America, Columbian authorities have discovered a haul of cocaine in a German-owned container ship.
18 bundles weighing 453 kilos and estimated to be worth around $27 million were found aboard the 2006-built boxship, owned by German shipping company Hammonia Reederei.
It was docked at the Port of Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast when an operation conducted by the Colombian National Navy and the country’s anti-narcotics police found the cocaine, which according to the Attorney General, could belong to drug-trafficking paramilitary group Clan de Gulfo.
Both events follow a number of recent incidents of the same manner. Just last week Somali pirates seized a Comoros flagged oil tanker and held the eight Sri Lankan crewmembers hostage until negotiations led to their release.
It was the first time a large commercial vessel had been hijacked off the Somali coast since 2012, after patrols led by the navies of Nato countries had suppressed pirate hijackings for almost half a decade.
While the number of pirate hijackings has decreased in recent years, there have been a number of historic drug seizures.
In April 2015, nine Turkish nationals were charged with drug trafficking offences after over three tonnes of cocaine worth up to £500 million was seized in the North Sea. It remains the largest seizure carried out by UK officials.
Then in August of last year, three Canadians appeared in court after almost 100 kilos of cocaine was seized on a cruise ship docked in Sydney Harbour, the largest amount ever brought into Australia via a passenger vessel.