By Jite Eriabie
A total of seven incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January 2018, according to regional piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC.
Compared to December 2017, when a total of 16 incidents were reported, the situation in January 2018 improved. Year-on-year numbers were also down from 10 incidents reported in January 2017, data from ReCAAP shows.
Out of the seven reported, five were actual and two were attempted incidents. One of these was a piracy incident and six were armed robberies against ships.
Five incidents occurred on board ships while at anchor/berth, specifically at Muara Berau (East Kalimantan, Indonesia), Manila (Philippines), Cam Pha (Vietnam) and the South China Sea.
The two incidents on board ships while underway occurred off Alang, Gujarat (India) and off Pulau Karimun (Straits of Malacca and Singapore).
There was no actual or attempted incident involving the abduction of crew from ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah; and no incident involving the hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo in January 2018, ReCAAP said.
As of January 2018, nine crew is still being held in captivity. The Philippine authorities continued to conduct pursuit operations and intensify its military operations to rescue the abducted crew and neutralise the militant group.
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