Namely, the 'Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia' report regarding October 2017 finds:

  • A total of nine incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in October 2017.
  • Of these, seven were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents.
  • Of the nine incidents, two were piracy incidents and seven were armed robberies against ships.
  • There was no actual or attempted incident involving the abduction of crew from ships reported in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah. Also, there was no incident involving the hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo.
  • However, there has been an increase in the number of incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).

Further, the report says that compared to October 2016, the total number of incidents reported in October 2017 has increased; and this was due to the occurrence of two attempted incidents reported in October 2017. In these two attempted incidents, the ship master and crew had successfully prevented boarding by the perpetrators. In October 2016, a total of seven incidents (all actual incidents) were reported.

During January-October 2017, a total of 60 incidents were reported, of which 51 were actual incidents and nine were attempted incidents. The number of incidents reported during January-October 2017 was the lowest among the 10-year reporting period.

Specifically, compared to January-October 2016, there was a 9% decrease in the total number of incidents during January-October 2017, and 67% decrease compared to January-October 2015. A total of 66 incidents were reported during January-October 2016, and 184 incidents reported during January-October 2015.

"The improvement during January-October 2017 was attributed to, amongst other factors, improvement of the situation at certain ports and anchorages in Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam," ReCAAP explains.

While the overall situation during January-October 2017 has improved, there was an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong), Philippines (Manila and Batangas); and on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) compared to the same period in 2016.

The ReCAAP ISC advises all ships transiting the areas of concern to enhance vigilance especially during hours of darkness and report all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately. The ReCAAP ISC emphasises the importance of collective and shared responsibility among all stakeholders including the littoral States’ enforcement agencies and shipping industry to institutionalise their efforts at sea and on land.

Explore more by reading the full report: