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ReCAAP ISC: Piracy and Sea Robbery Incidents Tripled in Asia During First Quarter of 2020

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre today released its 1st Quarter Report for Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (January-March 2020), Single-sheet Summary, and Situation Slides. The documents can be download by the embedded links provided in the preceding sentence.

The following are the highlights:

Summary

§ A total of 29 incidents of armed robbery against ships (comprising 28 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia during January-March 2020

§ This is compared to 10 incidents (comprising nine actual incidents and one attempted incident) during January-March 2019

§ This accounts for a three-fold increase in the total number of incidents reported during January-March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019

§ All incidents reported during January-March 2020 were armed robbery against ships

§ No piracy incident was reported

Locations of Increase of Incidents

§ The increase of incidents during January- March 2020 occurred in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore Strait

§ Three incidents were reported in Bangladesh during January-March 2020 compared to no incident during January-March 2019

§ Six incidents were reported in India during January-March 2020 compared to no incident during the same period in 2019

§ In Indonesia, six incidents were reported during January-March 2020 compared to three incidents during the same period in 2019

§ In the Philippines, four incidents were reported during January-March 2020 compared to two incidents during the same period in 2019

§ Of concern was the continued increase of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait during January-March 2020; nine incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait during January-March 2020 compared to two incidents during the same period in 2019

Locations of Improvement

§ There was improvement at the ports/ anchorages in China

§ No incident was reported in China during January-March 2020 compared to three incidents during January-March 2019

§ There were also arrests of perpetrators off Gujarat in India, at Chittagong Anchorage in Bangladesh and in the Singapore Strait

Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah

§ The situation of abduction of crew remains a serious concern as the risk of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah is high as demonstrated by the occurrence of an incident on 17 Jan 20 off Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia

§ Five of the crew abducted from the fishing trawler are still held in captivity

§ Shipping companies are advised to follow the ReCAAP ISC’s Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 and maintain communication with the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia

Need for Enhanced Vigilance

§ In view of the increase of incidents in the locations as indicated in this Report, ReCAAP ISC reiterates the need for law enforcement agencies to enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to incidents reported by ships in order to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators

§ Ship masters and crew are strongly advised to exercise vigilance, maintain constant lookout for suspicious boats in the vicinity, report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State, and implement preventive measures recommended in the ‘Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia’
Source: ReCAAP ISC

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