Nineteen crew that were kidnapped by pirates from the oil tanker ‘MT Duke’ off Benin last month, have been released, while one died during the captivity. The twenty Indian crew were kidnapped on December 15.
ReCAAP ISC issued another Incident Alert to shipping regarding two subsequent incidents of scrap metal theft from ships while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait. This is the sixth relevant warning by ReCAAP ISC, validating an alarming trend of piracy activity in the region.
A total of eight crew men were kidnapped from a Malaysian-registered fishing trawler which was found abandoned on 17 January, at approximately 4.24 nm off Pulau Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, according to data provided by ReCAAP ISC.
Recently, the North P&I Club issued its revised guide on evaluating the risk of sanctions, focusing on the application and scope of the U.S. and EU sanctions, in regards to their jurisdiction over companies; whether other sanctions apply to trading partners- such as banks, insurers or reinsurers or whether there are there any “party” related sanctions which impact on the ability to complete the contemplated trade, among other issues.
A total of 82 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported in 2019, says ReCAAP ISC in its Annual Report, noting a 15% increase in the actual incidents compared to 2018. Despite the increase, these numbers are still the second lowest since 2007.
In its weekly report for 7-13 January, ReCAAP ISC informed of two CAT 4 incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia. One incident occurred to a ship while anchored at Alang Anchorage, India; and one incident occurred to a ship while underway in the Singapore Strait.
The Port Authority of Douala in Cameroon issued a notice informing that armed security will be provided to vessels anchoring at the Base Buoy (B9), in protection of the seafarers onboard and the safety of the vessel as well.
While overall piracy incidents declined in 2019, there was an alarming increase in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea. In 2019, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre received 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide, in comparison to 201 reported incidents in 2018.
Reuters reports that Iran is unlikely to block the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest oil-shipping channel, in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, due to fear of aggravating its Gulf allies as well as China.
During the last SAFETY4SEA Singapore Forum, Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), discusses about the maritime crime situation in Asia. As he says, ReCAAP ISC aims to accurately inform about maritime crimes in Asia, while noting that such incidents are declining. Nevertheless, there are still areas of concern in which the situation must improve.
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