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ReCAAP Reports Five Piracy and Armed Robbery Incidents Against Ships In Asia During July

In July 2021, five incidents of armed robbery against ships¹ were reported in Asia. No piracy² incident was reported. All five incidents were actual incidents³. No attempted incident⁴ was reported.

The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the persistent occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. In July 2021, two incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait.
Concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait, particularly off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island (Indonesia), the ReCAAP ISC issued an Incident Alert (IA 05/2021) on 19 Jul.

There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah in July 2021. However, the threat of the abduction of crew remains high as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leaders responsible for the abduction of crew in the Sulu area are still at large.

JULY 2021

NUMBER OF INCIDENTS

In July 2021, five incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. All were actual incidents. No attempted incident was reported. All incidents have been verified and reported to the ReCAAP ISC by ReCAAP Focal Points. Refer to the Appendix for the ‘Description of incidents (July 2021)’ on pages 21-23.

Graph 1 shows the number of incidents reported each month from July 2020 to July 2021.

STATUS OF SHIPS

Of the five incidents reported in July 2021, two incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait, two incidents occurred on board ships while anchored at South Harbour Anchorage area, Manila, the Philippines and one incident on board a ship while anchored at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia.

SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL OF INCIDENTS

Of the five actual incidents reported in July 2021, one was a CAT 2 incident, three were CAT 3 incidents and one was a CAT 4 incident (where the perpetrators were not armed and crew not harmed).

CAT 2. The CAT 2 incident occurred on board a container ship while anchored at South Harbour Anchorage area, Manila, the Philippines. A perpetrator pointed an improvised gun at the duty crew, took away his two-way radio and tied him to the railing of the ship.
Seven other perpetrators then appeared on board the ship, stole one roll of new spare rope mooring line and escaped.

CAT 3. Two of the three CAT 3 incidents occurred on board bulk carriers while underway off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island (Indonesia) in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. In both incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives. The crew was not injured and nothing was stolen in the two
incidents. The other CAT 3 incident occurred on board a tanker while anchored at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia. Two perpetrators were sighted, each carrying a knife and a rod.
They escaped immediately when the alarm was raised. The crew was not injured and some fire hose couplings were stolen.

CAT 4. The CAT 4 incident occurred on board a container ship while anchored at South Harbour Anchorage area, Manila, the Philippines. Two perpetrators were seen at the forecastle deck lowering some materials into their motor banca using a rope. They escaped immediately when they saw the roving crew. The crew was not injured and ship stores were stolen.

Chart 1 shows the significance level of incidents reported each month from July 2020 to July 2021.

LOCATION OF INCIDENTS

The location of the five incidents reported in July 2021 is shown in Map 1

JANUARY-JULY 2021

NUMBER OF INCIDENTS

During January-July 2021, 43 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. No piracy incident was reported during this period. Of the 43 incidents, 41 were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents. Compared to January-July 2020, the total number of incidents during January-July 2021 decreased by 32%. A total of 63 incidents (comprising 61 actual incidents and two attempted incidents) were reported during January-July 2020. The total number of incidents reported during January-July 2021 is the second lowest among January-July of 2007-2021. Graph 2 shows the total number of incidents reported during January-July of 2007-2021.

The decrease of incidents during January-July 2021 occurred in the following locations:

• In Bangladesh, no incident was reported during January-July 2021 compared to three incidents during January-July 2020.
• In India, three incidents were reported during January-July 2021 compared to eight incidents during the same period in 2020.
• In Indonesia, seven incidents were reported during January-July 2021 compared to 17 incidents during January-July 2020.
• In Vietnam, two incidents were reported during January-July 2021 compared to three incidents during the same period in 2020.
• In the South China Sea, no incident was reported during January-July 2021 compared to three incidents during January-July 2020.
• In the Sulu-Celebes Seas, no incident was reported during January-July 2021 compared to one incident during the same period in 2020.

The number of incidents in the Philippines during January-July 2021 is the same as that reported during January-July 2020. A total of eight incidents were reported in the Philippines during both periods.

However, there was an increase of incidents in the Singapore Strait. A total of 22 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait during January-July 2021 compared to 19 incidents reported during January-July 2020.

Full Report

Source: ReCAAP

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