Key points January-June 2019
- Majority of the incidents reported during January-June 2019 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.
- Of the 28 incidents, two were incidents of piracy, and 26 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.
- Of the 25 actual incidents reported during January-June 2019, one was CAT 1 incident, two were CAT 2 incidents, two were CAT 3 incidents and 20 were CAT 4 incidents.
- There were no incidents in ports and anchorages in Bangladesh and Vietnam, compared to the same period in 2018 where six incidents were reported in Bangladesh and two incidents in Vietnam. The number of incidents at Indonesia’s ports and anchorages also decreased to nine incidents from 20 during the same period in 2018.
- There was an increase in the number of incidents onboard ships while underway in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore. A total of eight actual incidents were reported in 2019, compared to five (comprising three actual and two attempted incidents) during the same period in 2018. All the eight incidents in 2019 were CAT 4 (or petty theft) incidents.
Improvements were observed at the ports and anchorages in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam during January-June 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. However, there was an increase in the number of incidents (all CAT 4 incidents) in the Singapore Strait.
- Of concern was the recurrence of one incident of abduction of crew for ransom on 18 June in the waters off Eastern Sabah, Malaysia. The risk of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah is high as demonstrated by the incident. The coastal States concerned are requested to increase their efforts of enhanced surveillance, patrols and maintain contacts with ships transiting the area.
The ReCAAP ISC encourages ship masters and crew to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting areas of concern and make immediate reporting of all incidents to the nearest coastal State. The ReCAAP ISC urges the authorities to provide prompt response to the reports of incidents.
Significance of incidents
CAT 1 - There was one CAT 1 incident reported during January-June 2019. The incident involved the abduction of nine crew from two fishing boats on 18 June off Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia. The abducted crew members were released on 21 Jun as the abductors could have realised that the abducted crew had no money nor anything to give as ransom.
CAT 2 - The two CAT 2 incidents reported during January-June 2019 occurred at anchorages in Indonesia. In both incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives. In the incident at the anchorage off Pulau Mapur, the perpetrators held the A/B hostage and stole the crew’s cash and personal belongings. In the incident at Taboneo anchorage, the perpetrators confronted the crew with knives and escaped with ship stores. In both incidents, the crew was not injured.
CAT 3 - There were two CAT 3 incidents reported during January-June 2019, and it was the lowest in number among the 13-year period.
CAT 4 - The majority of the incidents reported during January-June 2019 were CAT 4 incidents, and this accounts for 80% (20 out of 25) of the total number of actual incidents.
The improvement during January-June 2019 was also due to the decrease in the number of attempted incidents. There was a 75% decrease in the number of attempted incidents during January-June 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
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