Vietnamese ship evades armed men near Philippines, arrives in Sabah


KOTA KINABALU: A Vietnamese vessel was escorted to safety to Sandakan yesterday after being chased by a group of armed men on board a speed boat in Philippine waters.

The vessel, with 13 crew members and laden with food supplies, was on its way here when it spotted the speed boat with armed men near Boan Island in Philippine waters at about 3pm.

A distress call was sent out and the boat changed its course to Sandakan after the group in pursuit tried to board the vessel, but failed.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid confirmed they received the distress signal.

“The Vietnamese vessel managed to enter Malaysian waters and Esscom escorted (it) to Sandakan.”

They arrived here at about 7pm and lodged a police report.