No hijacking incidents in January, says ReCAAP

The piracy activity and armed robbery against ships in Asia has seen a slight increase in January 2016 when compared to previous months, Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC said in its latest report.

A total of nine actual incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January, while there were no piracy incidents reported. None of these incidents involved hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo.

Out of the nine incidents, five were reported in the Gulf of Kutch, Kandla, and one in Visakhapatnam, India. All six incidents occurred in the evening hours as the perpetrators boarded the vessels and engaged in theft. In three incidents ship stores were stolen, while the other three did not result in any thefts. the perpetrators escaped the vessels as soon as they realized that the crew spotted them. No crew members were harmed.

Other incidents were reported at Tianjin outer anchorage, China, at Pilot Station anchorage, Vietnam, and at Galang anchorage, Indonesia.

“The situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia has improved since August 2015. Notably, for a consecutive three months since November 2015, there has been no actual incident reported on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS); and also no reported incident involving hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo since September 2015. However, there is no room for complacency as more need to be done to enhance port security at certain ports and anchorages, ReCAAP said.

ReCAAP ISC has urged the port authorities along with the state marine police and relevant enforcement agencies to beef up their presence and enhance their surveillance including inshore/offshore harbour/anchorage patrol and undertake immediate actions to apprehend the perpetrators. 

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