Body of Kidnapped ‘Royal 16’ Captain Found in the Philippines

File photo shows the Vietnamese-flagged Royal 16. Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Tony Hogwood

Authorities in the Philippines have recovered the remains of a Vietnamese ship captain who was kidnapped from a bulk carrier by the Abu Sayyaf militants over a year ago.

The captain, identified as Pham Minh Tuan, was among six people kidnapped from the MV Royal 16 as it sailed in Philippine waters off Basilan island on November 11, 2016. Another crew member was shot during the incident.

Authorities said they discovered Tuan’s body last Friday in Jolo, the capital city of Sulu. Officials, however, believe that Tuan was been killed by his captors during a standoff with the Philippine military in the city of Talipao in September.

The Abu Sayyaf, a militant group that swears allegiance to Islamic State, has become known for attacking slow-moving tugs and vessels in waters near the borders of Malaysia and the Philippines and kidnapping their crews for ransom – sometimes with deadly outcomes.