Now comes a report that this tug and barge have been located in the Philippines. Reported asPiracy query over ships found in Philippines:
The Philippines coast guard has apprehended a Malaysian barge and tugboat in the country's waters, in the process of having registration details altered.Philippines Coast Guard officials suggest some sort of regional piracy ring is in operation.
Information on the vessels' documents and in machinery, as well as their registration numbers and the names "Atlantic 3" on the tugboat and "Atlantic 5" on the barge were being defaced.
Point "A" on the map shows approximate location of the taking of the vessels by pirates, Point "B" is approximate location where they were found.
Philippines Coast Guard report here:
Photo montage from Philippines Coast Guard.
Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Wilfredo D Tamayo commended personnel of Coast Guard Field Station and Coast Guard Station General Santos headed by CDR Charlie Rances for the said apprehension, and further directed all Coast Guard units around the country to increase their vigilance and intensify campaign against pirates, recover hijacked vessels, and go after vessels reportedly involved in drugs, human trafficking, and other transnational crimes. With the said recovery of hijacked vessels, both present and in recent months, Admiral Tamayo believes that a regional “modus operandi” on piracy of vessels and smuggling has virtually been uncovered.
ReCAAP report (pdf) can be found here (pdf format).