Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Asian Piracy Figures Down but Threat to Vessels Under Way Remains

Improvements in Crimes Against Anchored Ships
Shipping News Feature
ASIA – The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) has produced a comprehensive report showing a total of 40 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during the first half of the year, a 15% decrease when compared to the first six months of 2017 and the lowest number of incidents reported among the 10-year first half reporting periods between 2009 and 2018.

Of the 40 incidents reported during January to June 2018, comprising of 29 actual incidents and 11 attempted acts, three were incidents of piracy and 37 were incidents of armed robbery against ships. There were improvements at ports and anchorages in Asia during the first half of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017, most apparent in Bangladesh and Philippines where several arrests of perpetrators and/or recovery of stolen items were reported in Bangladesh's Chittagong Port, Philippines’ South Harbour in Manila, as well as in India, off the infamous ships graveyard of Alang, Gujarat.

Additionally, there was no actual incident of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas during the first six months of the year and, no successful theft of oil cargo incidents were reported. However, of concern was the increase in incidents on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and at Vietnam ports/anchorages. Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC, said:

“Looking back to the number of incidents in 2017 which increased 16% compared to 2016, the 15% decrease in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 is welcome news. Nonetheless, continued vigilance by all stakeholders is an effective deterrence to maritime crime, and we urge heightened measures to be taken in the areas of concern.”