Two actual incidents of armed robbery against ships (one CAT 3 and one CAT 4) in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 21st – 27th November 2023.
he two incidents occurred onboard the same petroleum/chemical tanker while berthed at Belawan Wharf, Indonesia on 20 Nov 2023; and anchored at Dumai Anchorage, Indonesia on 23 Nov 2023.
Area of concern
The ReCAAP ISC advises ships to continue to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting areas of concern, including the Straits of Malacca and Singapore; and littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in these areas.
Re-Assessment and Downgrading of threat level
The efforts by the Philippine Government in Zamboanga, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi through the conduct of continuous military operations led to the dismantling of the support base and neutralising the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu archipelago. Against this backdrop, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), coordinated with other stakeholders and counterparts that have vital involvement in the maritime security of the Sulu-Celebes Seas, reviewed the threat situation and recommended further downgrading the threat level of ‘Abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ from ‘MODERATE’ to ‘MODERATE LOW’, which implies that ‘Incidents are unlikely to occur due to perpetrators’ perceived lack of capability to orchestrate an attack. Nevertheless, minimal damages are expected to the vessel and crew in case of an attack’.
Update of ReCAAP ISC Advisory
- With downgrading of the threat on the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes seas by the PCG, ReCAAP ISC have updated its Advisory for ships to “exercise vigilance & adopt necessary preventive measures while transiting the area”.
- 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 are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State RCC and flag State, referring to the Poster on Contact Details for Reporting of Incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, exercise vigilance and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.