A total of 36 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported during January-June 2017 in Asia, compared to a total of 46 incidents reported during January-June 2016, which means a decrease of 22%, according to ReCAAP’s ISC latest half-yearly report.
- During January-June 2017, a total of 36 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia (comprising 30 actual incidents and six attempted incidents).
- Of the 36 incidents, five were piracy incidents and 31 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.
- There were improvements at ports and anchorages in India, Indonesia 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.
- A total of seven incidents (comprising three actual incidents and four attempted incidents) were reported during January-April 2017, in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah. Though no incident was reported in May 2017 and June 2017, there is no room for complacency.
- As of 30 June 17, 18 crew are still being held in captivity out of the 59 crew being abducted since March 2016.
The overall situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships during January-June 2017 in Asia has improved compared to the same period in 2016, and this was due to the decrease in incidents at ports and anchorages in India, Indonesia and Vietnam; and abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Sea.
Of concern was the recurrence of an incident involving the hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo carried on board in the South China Sea. The last known incident of similar nature occurred in October 2016. The ReCAAP ISC urges ships carrying oil cargo to exercise vigilance and adopt precautionary measures taking reference from the ‘Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia’.
Although no incident of abduction of crew in Sulu-Celebes Sea was reported in May and June 2017, there is no room for complacency. The ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory to all ships to re-route from the area, where possible. Otherwise, we strongly urge the shipping industry to conduct voyage risk assessment, adopt piracy countermeasures to mitigate the risk, exercise enhanced vigilance, making immediate reports prior to entering the area, continue to maintain communication with the littoral States’ enforcement agencies and report all incidents to the relevant authorities.
For more details, click on below image to view the full report.