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ReCAAP: 10 Incidents of Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia in February 2020

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre released the February 2020 Report on the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

Overview

§ A total of 10 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in February 2020

§ No piracy incident was reported

§ There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah

§ However, the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern

§ ReCAAP ISC is also concerned about the continued occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait

§ With four incidents reported in February 2020, a total of eight incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2020, all in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS)

§ ReCAAP ISC has issued an Incident Alert (IA/03/2020) on 9 Feb 20 on two incidents which occurred within an interval of an hour to ships while underway in the Singapore Strait

§ There has also been an increase of incidents in India

§ Four incidents were reported in India in February 2020

§ With one incident reported in January 2020, a total of five incidents have been reported in India during January-February 2020 compared to five incidents reported in the whole year of 2019

Number of Incidents

§ In February 2020, 10 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported

§ All were actual incidents

§ All incidents have been verified and reported to the ReCAAP ISC by ReCAAP Focal Points

§ Graph 1 shows the number of incidents reported each month from February 2019 to February 2020

§ On a month-to-month comparison, the numbers of actual incidents in January and February 2020 were at a higher level compared to the monthly number of actual incidents in 2019.

Status of Ships

§ Of the 10 incidents reported in February 2020, four incidents occurred on board ships when at anchor, and six incidents on board ships while underway

Significance Level of Incidents

§ Of the 10 actual incidents reported in February 2020, three were CAT 3 incidents and seven were CAT 4 incidents

§ No CAT 1 or CAT 2 incident was reported in February 2020

§ Of the three CAT 3 incidents

o One incident occurred on board a tug boat anchored at Martabari Anchorage, Bangladesh

o One incident occurred on board an offshore supply ship anchored at Kakinada Anchorage, India

o One incident occurred on board a bulk carrier while underway in the Singapore Strait

§ In all three incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives, and they escaped immediately when they were sighted by the crew

§ The crew was not injured in all three incidents

§ Of the seven CAT 4 incidents

o Three were reported in the Singapore Strait of which one occurred on board a barge towed by tug boat and two occurred on board bigger ships (bulk carrier and tanker)

o Three incidents occurred on board ships in India (tanker and offshore supply ship at Kakinada Anchorage and oil/ chemical/gas tanker underway off Gujarat)

o One incident on board a barge towed by tug boat underway in the Kutubdia Channel, Bangladesh

Source: ReCAAP

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