A total of three incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January 2019, according to the latest report by Asia piracy watchdog, the ReCAAP ISC.
In the report emailed to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on Wednesday, the Asian piracy watchdog said compared to January 2018, there was a 73% decrease in the number of incidents reported in January 2019 when a total of 11 incidents were reported.
ReCAAP ISC said all three incidents reported in January 2019 occurred on board ships anchored; one at Caofeidian anchorage and one at Jingtang anchorage in China; and one at Ciwandan anchorage in Indonesia.
“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 January 2019.
“However, the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern,” it said.
ReCAAP ISC commended the efforts of the Philippines authorities for the rescue of the remaining abducted crew of Sri Dewi 1 on 15 Jan 19.
“As the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters o Eastern Sabah continues to pose a serious threat in Asia, ReCAAP ISC urges the shipping industry to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, and report immediately to the reporting centres.
“Despite the improvement of situation of piracy and sea robbery in Asia in January 2019, 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 all round lookout 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,” the report added.