Highlights January 2019

  • A total of three incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January 2019
  • Compared to January 2018, there was a 73% decrease in the number of incidents reported in January 2019 (a total of 11 incidents were reported in January 2018)

  • All three incidents reported in January 2019 occurred onboard ships anchored; one at Caofeidian anchorage and one at Jingtang anchorage in China; and one at Ciwandan anchorage in Indonesia
  • Of the three incidents reported in January 2019, one was a CAT 3 incident and two were CAT 4 incidents.

  • There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah; and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported in January 2019
  • However, the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern.

Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah

  • On 15 January 2019, the Philippine authorities rescued the remaining one abducted fisherman of Sri Dewi 1.
  • Fishing boat Sri Dewi 1 was sailing in waters off Gaya Island, Semporna, Sabah on 11 September 2018 when two masked men armed with firearms boarded the fishing boat and abducted two fishermen.
  • One of the abducted fishermen was rescued earlier by the authorities on 5 December 2018.
  • As of 31st January 2019, nine crew is still held in captivity.
  • The Philippine authorities continue to conduct pursuit operations and intensify its military operations to rescue the abducted crew and neutralise the militant group.

Despite the improvement of situation of piracy and sea robbery in Asia in January 2019, the ReCAAP ISC reiterates the need for law enforcement agencies to enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to reports of incident. Ships transiting areas of concern are to exercise enhanced vigilance, maintain all round lookout for suspicious boats, report all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately, and implement preventive measures recommended in the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

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