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News: Security warnings issued off Iran and the Sulu Sea

14 April 2020

The club is aware of warnings issued by maritime security reporting bodies to ships off Iran and the Sulu Sea.

In relation to Iran, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported an incident where a ship was approached by two suspicious skiffs in the Tunb-Farur eastbound traffic separation scheme in the Strait of Hormuz approximately 23 nautical miles from the Iranian coast. A raised ladder was sighted. The ship took evasive action and the approaching boats apparently discontinued their approach. The incident occurred in waters near to where the Stena Impero was seized by Iranian forces in July 2019. This was around the same time as the detention of the Grace 1 off Gibraltar. The incident has not been classified as a maritime security event.

In relation to the Sulu Sea, the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) issued a warning following Malaysian intelligence that the Abu Sayyaf group, a well-known Islamic separatist organisation, was intending to target the Sabah region of Malaysian Borneo. The target area was understood to be around Felda Sahabat and Tambisan. The group were said to be using a speedboat of red and yellow colour.

Members trading in these regions are encouraged to remain vigilant for any suspicious activity.