ReCAAP ISC informed that one incident of armed robbery against ships in Asia (CAT 2) was reported from 13-19 December 2022.
The incident took place to a bulk carrier while it was underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait.
With this incident, a total of 55 armed robbery incidents were reported in the SS since January 2022.
The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of armed robbery incidents in the Singapore Strait (SS). In November 2022, two Incident Alerts were issued to advise ships to intensify vigilance when transiting the area, and to urge the littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), after careful consideration of inputs from stakeholders and counterparts with vital involvement in securing the Sulu-Celebes Seas maritime security measure, recommends the downgrading of the threat on the ‘Abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ from ‘POTENTIALLY HIGH’ to ‘MODERATE’. The MODERATE threat level implies that ‘Incidents are possible to occur but are relatively less severe in nature’.
As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas has diminished since January 2020 due to successful military operations and robust law enforcement initiatives, the ReCAAP ISC updated its Advisory to all ships to consider re-route from the area as an option based on its prerogative.
For ships transiting the area, the ship masters and crew are strongly encouraged to exercise extra vigilance and report all incidents immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.
Ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia
ReCAAP ISC stated.
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