Asian Pirates Return

The IMB has warned of increasing pirate attacks in the south of the South China Sea following six incidents in as many days in waters off Indonesia.

Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureaus (IMB) piracy monitoring centre said the latest attack brought to 14 the number in the area so far this year.

He said On Wednesday a Singapore-flagged container ship was boarded by six armed pirates who stole cash and property.

The attacks that began on June 10 are concentrated in an area near Indonesias Anambas, Natuna and Mangkai islands, he told AFP.

We have issued alerts on the area in the past and have again informed the Indonesian authorities, asking for an increase in patrols, he added.

The attacks go down following an increase in patrols but they slowly creep up again once patrols are reduced, he added.

Choong said a Malaysian-registered tanker was boarded on June 10 in the area while a South Korean cargo vessel was attacked the same day.

A Cypriot container ship was boarded on June 12, a Chinese-flagged tanker was attacked on June 13 and a Singapore-registered tanker was robbed on June 15, he added.

The pirates usually attack in the hours of darkness and they target the ships safe, property and personal belongings, Choong added.

Unlike Somalian pirates, the ones in the region abort their attempts when they are spotted so we advise all vessels to ensure they are vigilant to prevent such boardings, he added.