Asian Piracy Drop to 10-Year Low, Says ReCAAP
A total of 40 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 29 actual incidents and 11 attempted incidents) were reported in Asia during January-June 2018 compared to 47 incidents (comprising 40 actual incidents and seven attempted incidents) during January-June 2017.
ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) in its Half-Yearly (January to June 2018) Report said that it was the lowest number of incidents reported among the 10-year reporting period of January-June of 2009-2018.
This accounts for a 15% decrease in the number of incidents reported during January-June 2018 compared to January-June 2017. Of the 40 incidents reported during January-June 2018, three were incidents of piracy and 37 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.
There were improvements at ports and anchorages in Asia during January-June 2018 compared to the same period of 2017. The improvement was most apparent in Bangladesh and Philippines.
Several arrests of perpetrators and/or recovery of stolen items were reported in Bangladesh (Chittagong Port), Philippines (South Harbour, Manila) and India (off Alang, Gujarat). There was no actual incident of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas during JanuaryJune 2018.
Likewise, no successful theft of oil cargo incident was reported during the same period. The ReCAAP ISC commends the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for their successful arrest of the mastermind and perpetrators involved in the incident involving tanker Lee Bo for attempt of oil cargo theft on 1 Jun 18.
However, of concern was the increase in incidents on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca & Singapore (SOMS) and at Vietnam ports/ anchorages during January-June 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.
The ReCAAP ISC encourages ship master and crew to exercise enhanced vigilance and make immediate reporting of all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State.
The ReCAAP ISC also urges enforcement agencies to provide quick responses to reports of incidents and render assistance to victim ships.
The ReCAAP ISC emphasises the importance of collective and shared responsibility among all stakeholders including littoral States’ enforcement agencies and shipping industry to institutionalise their efforts on land and at sea.