Maritime Crime Still Rising in Southeast Asia

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 8, 2015

Ian Millen (Photo: Dryad Maritime)

Ian Millen (Photo: Dryad Maritime)

New figures show that Southeast Asia continues to dominate maritime crime incidents globally, with 120 reports of piracy and maritime crime instances occurring in the region since January 1, 2015, an increase of 22 percent compared to the first six months of 2014, according to figures from U.K. maritime intelligence and operations company Dryad Maritime. Of these reported incidents, 12 were vessel hijackings – an increase of three compared to the same period last year. 
Dryad Maritime today released its analysis of worldwide reported incidents of piracy and crime against mariners from April 1 to June 30, 2015. Providing commentary on maritime piracy and crime around the world, the conflict in Yemen and Libya, and the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean; the report outlines the diverse and complex threats that shipping companies and mariners face.  
Dryad notes that the arrest of two sets of hijackers this year will likely result in a slowdown in the numbers of small product tankers being hijacked in the region, but it fully expects a return of attempted hijacks in July, as the criminal gangs involved have proved themselves to be both resilient and adaptable. 
Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer, Dryad Maritime, said, “Our latest figures for piracy and maritime crime highlight the uncertain, chaotic and, sometimes, dangerous nature of global maritime operations.  The continued containment of the Somali piracy threat is both welcome and a testament to the measures taken to tackle it, but other areas give us more cause for concern.  Southeast Asia is in urgent need of a joined-up effort to tackle the criminal gangs who are hijacking small regional tankers and robbing other vessels in transit, with the Singapore Strait being in dire need of some effective, coordinated action.”
Millen continued, “The wars in Yemen and Libya and the security integrity of important arteries like Suez, bring their own complexities to maritime operations.  From restrictions on maritime trade in Libya and Yemen, terrorism concerns in the Suez Canal zone and the pressures of becoming engaged in mass migration rescue operations, mariners, and those who have a duty of care to them have a plenty to think about. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve seen vessels attacked by military and rebel forces off Libyan ports and others fired upon and detained in the Arabian Gulf.”
In other regions, kidnapping of crew for ransom remains the most significant threat to mariners in the Gulf of Guinea, with Dryad reporting that at least 20 mariners were taken from vessels off the shores of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States in Nigeria in April and May. 
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