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Philippines: German cruising couple abducted in April in hands of ASG Bandits

By InterAksyon.com — last modified Oct 20, 2014 01:17 PM
Contributors: Our thanks to AKESecureYachting for advising us of this news.
Recent reports in local media indicate that the two German cruisers who went missing last April on their way back to Sabah in Malaysia after island-hopping in Mindanao, are indeed in the custody of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The couple were finally released in October 2014.

Published: 2014-08-12 23:00:00
Topics: Piracy Reports 2014
Countries: Germany , Philippines

Philippines: German cruising couple abducted in April in hands of ASG Bandits

2 abducted German tourists apparently in hands of ASG © InterAksyon.com

Report from InterAksyon.com

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - Reports from the field tend to indicate that the two German tourists who went missing last April in the high seas between Palawan and Sabah are in the custody of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a source from the intelligence community based in Manila disclosed on Monday.

The source shared a copy of a photograph going the rounds of the intelligence community showing the two Germans surrounded by a group of men armed with heavy automatic weapons, with two fighters sitting on the ground and the two Germans holding what appears to be a German Flag.

The two Germans were identified in previous media reports as Stefan Victor Okonek, 71 and Herike Diesen 55.

The ASG has gained notoriety with kidnap for ransom activities.

The two were taken by heavily-armed bandits while on their way to Sabah, Malaysia from Palawan in late April, the Manila based intelligence officer said.

The two Germans had just come from an island-hoping trip around the coast of Mindanao when abducted on April 26 in the waters off Bataraza town in the Southern tip of Palawan province.

"The ASG have been holding the Germans since they were taken last April from Palawan," the intelligence officer, who asked not to be named, said.

When asked if there are ongoing negotiations for the release of the two Germans, the source replied in the negative.

"I'm not privy to whether or not there were negotiations taking place... but what I know is that the Germans don't trust us," the intelligence source said.

The German tourists were abducted after the presence of their yacht was purportedly tipped off by relatives of the Abu Sayyaf fighters who were living in the area.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 20, 2014 01:17 PM

18 October 2014 - Philippine militants free 2 kidnapped Germans
http://asiancorrespondent.com/127491/philippine-militants-free-2-kidnapped-germans/

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 30, 2014 09:18 AM

Further news from the BBC 24, September, 2014 - Philippine militants threaten to kill German hostages - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29352920

jpb
jpb says:
Sep 26, 2014 05:28 AM

From the Philstar, here is the latest comment of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin:

MANILA, Philippines - The government will not negotiate with the Abu Sayyaf, which has threatened to behead one of the two German hostages it is holding, saying it was a criminal gang seeking to cash in on its self-proclaimed allegiance to Islamic State jihadists.

“We do not negotiate with terrorists,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters when asked about the P250-million ransom demand.

The SITE terrorism monitoring group said Tuesday the Abu Sayyaf warned it would carry out its threat within 15 days unless ransom is paid and Berlin halts support for the US-led campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Germany also insisted it would not withdraw support for US action against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria despite the ultimatum.

Gazmin confirmed that the Abu Sayyaf kidnapped a German man and woman at sea earlier this year as they sailed a yacht off Palawan........... The Abu Sayyaf is holding at least 10 foreigners, including two European birdwatchers kidnapped in February 2012.

Published image of the captives: http://i.imgur.com/2El6L8o.jpg

J.-P. Beer
SY ALYA

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