ReCAAP ISC has issued its report for the week 10-16 May informing that one CAT 41 incident of armed robbery against ships in Asia was reported. With this incident, a total of 22 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2022 so far, which is an area of high concern since an increase in sea robberies and the boarding of vessels underway has been noticed.
he incident occurred on 12 May on board a tanker while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait. In the incident, the ship’s crew sighted three unauthorised persons in the vicinity of the engine room. The ship alarm was raised and crew mustered. A search on board the ship was conducted, with no further sighting of the perpetrators. Nothing was stolen. All crew members were accounted for with no report of injuries. Furthermore, there is no incident of abduction of crew reported since January 2020 up to today, and no crew is currently being held in captivity by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
On 23 Apr 21, the Philippine Armed Forces conducted a military operation against members of the ASG during which one of the ASG leaders responsible for the abduction of crew in the area of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi had managed to escape. However, the threat of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains potentially high, particularly in the areas of Sulu and nearby waters off Tawi-Tawi as the ASG is still active and the leaders of the ASG responsible for the past incidents of abduction are at large.