A total of 36 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 30 actual incidents and six attempted incidents) were reported during January-June 2017 in Asia, said a report by Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC).
The total number of incidents reported during January-June 2017 has decreased by 22% compared to the same period in 2016. A total of 46 incidents were reported during January-June 2016.
Of serious concern was the occurrence of incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters o Eastern Sabah.
A total of seven incidents (comprising three actual incidents and four attempted incidents) were reported during January-April 2017.
There were improvements at ports and anchorages in India
and Vietnam. However, of concern was the occurrence of the incident involving the hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo carried on board. Incident of similar modus operandi was last reported in October 2016
Though no incident was reported in May 2017 and June 2017, there is no room for complacency. As of 30 Jun 17, 18 crew are still being held in captivity out of the 59 crew being abducted since March 2016.
Of the 30 actual incidents reported during January-June 2017, four were CAT 1 incidents, three were CAT 2 incidents, 10 were CAT 3 incidents and 13 were CAT 4 incidents.
The ReCAAP ISC emphasises the importance of collective and shared responsibility among all stakeholders including the littoral States’ enforcement agencies and the shipping industry to institutionalise their efforts on land and at sea.
More need to be done to strengthen regional cooperation and coordination among the littoral States in conducting coordinated patrols, law enforcement and apprehension of the perpetrators.