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Protection Vessels International: Weekly Maritime Security Report

Indonesia: Likely robber targets tanker at Belawan

07 November

An unidentified person attempted to board a Singapore-flagged product tanker at Belawan port Indonesia. The individual was using a grabbling hook to board the vessel but fled after he was spotted by crew during security rounds.

PGI Analysis: Criminals regularly target anchored vessels at Belawan. Three similar incidents have been reported earlier in 2019, including a violent robbery in August. Some incidents are likely to go unreported.

West Africa

Sao Tome and Principe: Suspected pirates attack tanker 54 nm offshore

Pirates reportedly attacked a tanker off Sao Tome and Principe in the Gulf of Guinea at 0028 hrs local time. Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise caution. Details about the assailants or crew were not immediately available.

PGI Analysis: Piracy attacks occur intermittently in waters off Sao Tome and Principe. The country is situated near the Gulf of Guinea and is therefore vulnerable to pirates operating out of the Niger Delta.

China: Beijing calls on Hanoi not to ‘complicate’ South China Sea issue

08 November

Beijing called on Hanoi not to ‘complicate’ the South China Sea issue, after a senior official in Vietnam said it could explore legal action in its territorial dispute with China over the waters. Relations have grown tense between the two countries since July when Beijing sent a ship for a months-long seismic survey to an area internationally designated as Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, but also claimed by China. A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said that Vietnam should avoid taking actions that may complicate the issue and impact bilateral relations.

Greece: Beijing, Athens agree to COSCO Piraeus port investment

11 November

Beijing and Athens agreed to a USD 670 mn investment by China’s COSCO shipping at Greece’s largest port. Collaboration over the port has grown since 2009 when COSCO bought a majority 51 percent stake in Piraeus port. The agreement came as part of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Athens on 11 November. Piraeus is currently Europe’s sixth largest container port.

Iraq: Protesters block Umm Qasr port hours after operations restart

06 November

Tens of anti-government protesters blocked the entrance to the Umm Qasr commodities port near Basra hours after operations had resumed, according to port officials. Work at Umm Qasr had halted for more than a week after demonstrators blocked roads leading to the port. Most protesters had left the area and operations resumed for several hours before activists returned and blocked the main gate. Umm Qasr is a key import point for grains and sugar, and disruption is likely to have an impact on limited food supplies in the south.

Netherlands: Prosecutors reveal earlier drug seizures at Rotterdam

06 November

Authorities seized 1,550 kg of cocaine in two previously undisclosed incidents at Rotterdam port in October. Both drug caches were found in banana shipments from Ecuador and destined for companies in Vlissingen. Officials did not confirm whether the 750 kg seized on 31 October and the 800 kg seized on 16 October were linked. Major drugs seizures are reported regularly at Rotterdam.

Philippine: Coast guard rescues 63 from sinking boat off Cebu

08 November

The coast guard rescued at least 53 passengers and 10 crew members of MV Siargao Princess after the vessel stalled in the waters off Sibonga, Cebu. A spokesman of the coast guard said the passengers were rescued unharmed before the boat sank. Authorities deployed boats with rescue and medical teams in the area after receiving a distress call 30 minutes after the vessel left Loon, Bohol. An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

United Arab Emirates: Customs seize 400,000 narcotic pills at Jebel Ali port

11 November

Authorities at Jebel Ali port in Dubai seized 412,562 Captagon pills from a container ship. The drugs were found in a shipment of spare parts originating in an Asian country. Customs officials said they became suspicious of the vessel after it changed its final destination from Dubai to an unnamed location.
Source: Protection Vessels International Ltd

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