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Piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia


August 16, 2018 - The situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January-July 2018 has improved compared to the same period in 2017. There was a decrease of 4% in the total number of incidents during January-July 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. A total of 47 incidents (comprising 36 actual and 11 attempted incidents) were reported during January-July 2018 compared to 49 incidents (comprising 42 actual and seven attempted incidents) reported during January-July 2017.

The severity level of incidents has also decreased during January-July 2018 with no CAT 1 incident and the lowest number of CAT 2 incidents compared to the same period of 2009-2018. There was no actual incident of abduction of crew for ransom and no hijacking of ships for oil cargo theft during January-July 2018. However, of concern was the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait.

Two incidents of theft of cargo from barges towed by tug boats while underway in the Singapore Strait were reported in July 2018, bringing the total number of incidents in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore to seven during January-July 2018 compared to two incidents reported during the same period in 2017. Although there was no actual incident of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and no theft of oil cargo during January-July 2018, the threat of these incidents still remains.

The ReCAAP ISC reiterates the need for law enforcement agencies to enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to reports of incident. Ships transiting areas of concern are to exercise enhanced vigilance, maintain look-out for suspicious boats, report all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately, and implement preventive measures recommended in the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

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