Southeast Asian piracy action seeing results, says IMB

Asia records 3 armed robbery attacks against ships in January
Illustrative picture. PHOTO: SHIPS & PORTS archive


The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) says a crackdown on piracy in Southeast Asia is bearing fruit.

Releasing its third quarter report IMB noted there had been only two hijackings in Southeast Asian waters in the third quarter following a spate in the first half of the year.

The two hijackings of a small product tanker in the Straits of Malacca and a fishing vessel 40-miles west of Pulau Langkawi were among 47 in total reported to the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre in the three-month period.

The drop in attacks has coincided with a step up in enforcement by Malaysia and Indonesia with the arrest of pirate gangs the prosecution of some, including those involved in attacks on the Sun Birdie and Orkim Harmony.

“The robust actions taken particularly by the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities – including the arrest of one the alleged masterminds – is precisely the type of deterrent required,” said P Mukundan, IMB director.

There has also only been one reported attack in the Gulf of Guinea in the last quarter, however, IMB believes the real number could be “considerably higher”.

In the first nine months of the year there have been 190 incidents of piracy worldwide reported to the IMB.

There have been no report of attacks off Somalia or in the Gulf of Aden this year, however, vessels in the area were urged to remain vigilant.

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