A total of 11 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January 2020, ReCAAP ISC said in its monthly report. The number of actual incidents is the same with December 2019. The two alarming issues concern the recurrence of four incidents in the Singapore Strait and one crew abduction off Malaysia in January 2020.
The ReCAAP ISC is concerned about the continued occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait.
In January 2020, four incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.
Key figures January 2020
- A total of 11 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January 2020
- Of the 11 incidents reported in January 2020, six incidents occurred on board ships when at anchor, and five incidents on board ships while underway
- No piracy incident was reported
- There was one incident of crew abduction that occurred off Pulau Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah, East Malaysia in January 2020
- In January 2020, four incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait
Significance Level of Incidents
- Of the 11 actual incidents reported in January 2020, one was a CAT 1 incident, one was a CAT 3 incident and nine were CAT 4 incidents
- The CAT 1 incident was the abduction of eight crew from a fishing trawler on 17 Jan 20 off Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia
- On 18 Jan 20, the Malaysian authorities recovered three of the eight crew in the vicinity of Lahad Datu, Sabah
- The remaining five crew are still held in captivity
- The CAT 3 incident occurred onboard a tanker anchored off Port Kabil, Pulau Batam, Indonesia
- The crew confronted the perpetrators who were armed with sharp weapons and captured one of them
- The other three perpetrators escaped empty-handed
- One of the crew suffered facial injury
- The master reported the incident to Batam Police, who boarded the ship and took custody of the captured perpetrator
- Of the nine CAT 4 incidents, four were reported in the Singapore Strait, of which two occurred on board barges towed by tug boats and two occurred on board bigger ships (bulk carrier and tanker)
- Among the remaining five CAT 4 incidents, two incidents occurred onboard container ships anchored at Manila Anchorage, Philippines; two incidents occurred on board ships at Indonesia anchorages (bulk carrier at Taboneo anchorage and chemical/oil product tanker at Belawan anchorage); and one incident occurred onboard an offshore supply vessel anchored at Alang Anchorage, India.
The ReCAAP ISC urges law enforcement agencies to continue to enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to reports of incidents. 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.
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