On 9 February, two incidents occurred within an interval of an hour to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. With these two incidents, a total of six incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait in 2020, all in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait.
In a written reply to a Parliamentary Question on Piracy Along Singapore Strait by Mr Christopher de Souza, the Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen noted that the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) plans to restructure in order to deal with piracy at sea.
In its weekly report for 21-27 January, ReCAAP ISC informed of three incidents of armed robbery against ships, comprising one CAT 3 incident and two CAT 4 incidents. The CAT 3 incident occurred to a tanker while anchored off Port Kabil, east of Pulau Batam, Indonesia.
In its weekly report for 14-20 January, ReCAAP ISC informed of four incidents against ships in Asia, comprising a very serious incident (CAT 1) and three least serious (CAT 4) incidents. The highlight of the week was the first crew abduction in 2020 from a fishing vessel off Malaysia on 17 January.
ReCAAP ISC issued another Incident Alert to shipping regarding two subsequent incidents of scrap metal theft from ships while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait. This is the sixth relevant warning by ReCAAP ISC, validating an alarming trend of piracy activity in the region.
A total of 82 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported in 2019, says ReCAAP ISC in its Annual Report, noting a 15% increase in the actual incidents compared to 2018. Despite the increase, these numbers are still the second lowest since 2007.
While overall piracy incidents declined in 2019, there was an alarming increase in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea. In 2019, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre received 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide, in comparison to 201 reported incidents in 2018.
Singapore’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) issued a paper focusing on the increasing tensions and attacks taking place in the Singapore Strait concerning the timeframe between November to December 2019, providing recommendations for ships sailing in the area.
The ReCAAP ISC issued another incident alert concerning an incident to a tanker while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait on Christmas day. This makes a total of 30 incidents in the Singapore Strait in 2019.
ReCAAP ISC issued five incident alerts, focusing on three piracy attacks which took place on December 19 and two on December 23, concerning ships underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait.
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