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 Hijacked boat defied government’s travel ban on Sulu Sea: Minister

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BerichtOnderwerp: Hijacked boat defied government’s travel ban on Sulu Sea: Minister    vr 1 jul 2016 - 0:50

The Jak Pos, Jakarta, Wed, June 29 2016

The Indonesia-flagged boat that had seven of its 13 crewmen abducted by armed militants in the waters of southern Philippines did not adhere to the government's ban on sailing through the Sulu Sea, which is rife with pirates, a minister has said.

"There actually had been a ban in place. They were just being defiant," Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Wednesday as quoted by

Ryamizard said he did not know why the shipping company dismissed the government-issued ban to traverse through the waters in the southern Philippines despite the numerous kidnappings in the area in the past few months. The tugboat Charles and its barge Robby were sailing back to Samarinda, East Kalimantan, from Tagoloan, Philippines when it was attacked twice in less than two hours.

The minister said he, along with Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan, would summons in the near future the owners of the boats that ignored the ban. Ryamizard said he would give a strong warning and direct them to take safer routes.

"Because it would be pointless if they continued to ignore it. We have instructed to go through safe lanes, yet they still chose unsafe ones, so it happened again," he said in reference to the kidnappings, which have occurred in the same area three previous times

Hijacked boat changed direction to cut cost...,

Also from the Jak Pos, Jakarta, Fri, July 1 2016

Prior to coming under attack by Abu Sayyaf armed extremists, crewmen of tugboat Charles altered their set route to traverse conflict-prone waters in the southern Philippines in an effort to save time and cut costs, a crewman has said.

"It is faster by one day," explained engineer IV, Syahril, as quoted by Syahril was one of six crewman freed by the Abu Sayyaf group on June 20. Seven crewmen have yet to be released.

Syahril said the men on board had been aware of the dangers of the alternate route but, as they had not personally experienced a disturbance, decided to take a chance. This lack of awareness had instilled confidence in the sailors to take a route which had been banned by the government.

Kidnappings involving Indonesian vessels -- Brahma 12 and Henry -- some-two months ago, led port authorities to obligate vessels to travel through safe sea lanes so as to avoid the risks associated with Sulu waters. Rusianto Bersaudara, the company that owns the TB Charles, had agreed to abide.

Syahril said they had not been given the additional funds necessary for an alternate route, adding that the company believed that the travel expenses were the same either way. The decision not take the safer route was made on the authority of the captain and the wardroom, Syahril added.

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