Concerning piracy and armed robbery incidents in Asia overall:

  • In general 76 incidents of piracy and armed robbery were reported in Asia between January to December 2018, comprising of 62 actual incidents and 14 attempted incidents;
  • Reduction of 25% in the total number of incidents and a 31% decrease in actual incidents compared to 2017;
  • Of the 76 incidents, 4 were incidents of piracy, while 72 were armed robbery against ships.

As far as the improvement is concerned, it was highly obvious in Manila anchorage in the Philippines. Also, successful arrests were reported in:

  • Bangladesh (Chittagong);
  • India (off Alang, Gujarat);
  • Philippines (Manila);
  • Indonesia (Pulau Batam);
  • Malaysia (Pulau Tinggi, Sarawak, and off Tambisan, Sabah).
  • Despite two attempts of to steal oil cargo in June and August, 2018 were Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency arrested the perpetrators, there was no theft of oil cargo in 2018;
  • Crew abduction experienced a reduction: there was a decrease of incident of abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah in 2018;
  • 3 incidents, 2 actual and 1 attempted, of abduction of crew were reported in 2018 compared to 7 incidents, 3 actual and 4 attempted in 2017.

Areas that draw concern, according to the report:

  • Up to 10 incidents took place at ports and anchorages in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and in Samarinda, Indonesia;
  • There were also slight increases reported in Malaysia and Vietnam;
  • Despite the decrease in the number of incidents in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious threat in the area.

Additionally, ReCAAP ISC, over the past 12 years has collected the data of 1.560 piracy and armed robbery incidents in Asia and resulted to some characteristics of the incidents, concerning the number of perpetrators, the weapons used, treatment of crew, items stolen, the types of ships boarded, and time of incidents reported in Asia.

Specifically:

•The majority of the incidents involved 4-6 perpetrators (34%) or 1-3 perpetrators (24%);

•The most commonly used weapons were knives/machetes/others (such as rod). The weapons were often used to cut mooring ropes and remove items on the deck such as life/floating buoys, fire hose, etc;

More than 81% of the incidents reported that the crew did not suffer from any injuries or there was no information on the condition of the crew; •In 32% of the incidents, nothing was stolen by perpetrators who escaped empty-handed when sighted by the crew;

•The most common stolen items were ship stores, such as ropes, paint, lubricating oil/grease;

•There was no evidence to suggest that certain types of ships were targeted, but 63% of incidents occurred on board either tankers or bulk carriers;

•The majority of the incidents occurred during hours of darkness with 60% of incidents occurred between 00.00-06.00 hours and 20% between 19.00-24.00 hours;

Concluding, Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC stated that ReCCAP urges law enforcement authorities to keep on their attempts and cooperation to decrease these kind of incidents.

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