German yachter abducted again, companion shot dead by Abu Sayyaf

08 Nov 2016 / 00:35 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: A 70-year-old German yachter who was kidnapped and freed by Somali pirates in 2008 was allegedly snatched again – this time by South Philippines militants who waylaid his vessel purportedly near Tanjong Luuk Pisuk, Sabah.
Sabine Merz, his female German companion, who was with him in his yacht is said to have been killed after being shot by militants of the Abu Sayyaf group.
Jurgen Kantner and Merz, who is in her 50s, were held for almost two months when their yacht Rock All was hijacked by Somali pirates at the Gulf of Aden in June, 2008.
Although Malaysian authorities say it is yet to be determined if the abduction occurred, Philippines web portals reported that Abu Sayyaf militants had made such a claim and said Merz was killed by her captors after she attempted to shoot them with a firearm.
The Philstar web news portal quoted Philippines military spokesman Maj Filemon Tan Jr as saying a body believed to be that of Merz was found on board the sky blue yacht in the vicinity of Laparan Island, Pangutaran town, Sulu around 6am on Sunday.
Tan said the body had a gunshot wound and a shotgun was found next to it.
The web portal also quoted an Abu Sayyaf spokesman as saying Kantner was taken away by their men who intercepted the private yacht near Tanjong Luuk Pisuk, Sabah.
The Inquirer web news portal quoted the same spokesman as saying the yacht was waylaid at Tanjung Pisut, Tawi-Tawi Island in South Philippines.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander DCP Datuk Wan Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said today Malaysian authorities are clueless of the abduction claim as its Philippines counterpart was unaware of the case.
"Our Philippines police counterparts appear to be unaware of it. It is still being verified. I am not saying it did not happen but our checks do not show it did for now. We have checked with yacht clubs in Sabah and learnt that the Germans had neither contacted nor notified them of their journey. Basically, there is no official report on their disappearance nor of a missing yacht from their families and anybody else. We are still verifying." he told theSun.
In 2008, the Germans were freed by Somali pirates after a ransom amounting to US$1 million (RM4.22 million) was paid out by unknown parties.

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