7 piracy attacks reported in Asia in May — ReCAAP

Asia records 3 armed robbery attacks against ships in January

Illustrative picture. PHOTO: SHIPS & PORTS archive

A total of seven incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in May 2019, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

The Asia piracy watchdog said there was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported in May 2019

However, is said the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern.

ReCAAP said in May 2019, six actual incidents of armed robbery against ships and one attempted incident of piracy were reported, representing a 22% decrease over the number of incidents reported in May 2018.

It said total of nine incidents were reported in May 2018 compared to seven incidents in May 2019.

“However, compared to the past six preceding months (November 2018 – April 2019), the number of incidents reported in May 2019 has increased.

Between November 2018 and April 2019, a total of three incidents to four incidents were reported each month.

“Of the seven incidents reported in May 2019, three incidents occurred on board ships at anchor/berth (at Kandla in India; and Dumai and Cigading in Indonesia) and four incidents on board ships while underway (off Pulau Mapur, Indonesia; off Mindanao, Philippines in the Pacific Ocean; and off Tanjung Piai, Malaysia in the Singapore Strait),” it said.

It also stated that of the six actual incidents reported in May 2019, one was a CAT 2 incident and five were CAT 4 incidents.

“As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off eastern Sabah remains, ReCAAP ISC maintains its advisory issued via the ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible.

“Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report immediately to  the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia,” ReCAAP added.