The report notes that both the total number of incidents and the number of actual incidents reported during January-August 2019 are the lowest among the 13-year period of January-August of 2007-2019.

The improvement of the situation during January-August 2019 can be attributed to the decrease in the number of incidents in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The ReCAAP ISC however stresses its concern about the increase in the number of incidents on board tug boats towing barges while underway in the Singapore Strait; and has produced a Special Report.

 

Key figures

  • A total of eight incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in August 2019
  • Of the eight incidents, two were piracy incidents and six were incidents of armed robbery against ships
  • There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah; and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported in August 2019.
  • Compared to August 2018, there was a 11% decrease in the number of incidents reported in August 2019. A total of nine incidents were reported in August 2018 compared to eight incidents in August 2019.

 

Significance

  • Of the seven actual incidents reported in August 2019, two were CAT 3 incidents and five were CAT 4 incidents.
  • The two CAT 3 incidents occurred at Pulau Batam anchorage, Indonesia and in the South China Sea (off Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia).
  • Of the five CAT 4 incidents, three incidents occurred in the Singapore Strait, and two incidents, each occurred in the South China Sea (off Pulau Bintan, Indonesia) and at Phuoc Long Mooring Buoy No. 3, Vietnam.

 

January-August 2019

  • During January-August 2019, a total of 44 incidents (comprising 40 actual incidents and four attempted incidents) were reported in Asia.
  • Of the 44 incidents, 39 were incidents of armed robbery against ships and five were piracy incidents.
  • Four of the five piracy incidents occurred in the South China Sea, and one incident occurred in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Compared to January-August 2018, there was a 25% decrease in the total number of incidents reported during January-August 2019. The number of actual incidents has also decreased by 11%. A total of 59 incidents (comprising 45 actual incidents and 14 attempted incidents) were reported during January-August 2018.
  • Both the total number of incidents and the number of actual incidents reported during January-August 2019 are the lowest among the 13-year period of January-August of 2007-2019.
  • The improvement of the situation during January-August 2019 can be attributed to the decrease in the number of incidents in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.

However, the number of incidents in the Singapore Strait continued to increase in August 2019. With the occurrence of 14 incidents in close proximity to each other during January-August 2019, the ReCAAP ISC produced a Special Report on ‘Incidents Involving Tug Boats and Barges in the Singapore Strait’.

 

Recommendations

The report recommends that all ships, particularly tug boats towing barges to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting the area and report all incidents and presence of suspicious small boats in the vicinity to the nearest coastal State immediately.

The report encourages the littoral States to strengthen the conduct of joint coordinated patrols, increase enforcement in their respective waters and promote information sharing on the latest situation and the criminal groups involved in order to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

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’.

 

Explore more herebelow:

 

See also: