During 7-13 Dec 2021, two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to the ReCAAP ISC. Both were CAT 4 incidents and occurred to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.
he first incident occurred on 29 Nov to a bulk carrier while underway at approximately 3.8 nm northwest of Nongsa Light House, Batam Island (Indonesia). The duty oiler sighted four unauthorised persons in the vicinity of the engine room of the ship. The ship alarm was raised and a search on board the ship was conducted with no further sighting of the perpetrators. Some engine spares were stolen.
The second incident occurred on 7 Dec to a barge towed by a tug boat at approximately 10.2 nm from Pulau Jangkat (Indonesia). A small boat was seen tied to the starboard side of the barge, and three unauthorised persons were sighted boarding the barge. The alarm was raised and a search was conducted on board the barge with no further sighting of the perpetrators. The master was unable to confirm if any items were stolen from the barge.
With these incidents, a total of 44 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2021, including 25 incidents occurred off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island (Indonesia), and 10 incidents off Nongsa, Batam Island (Indonesia).
SITUATION OF ABDUCTION OF CREW IN THE SULU-CELEBES SEAS AND WATERS OFF EASTERN SABAH
There is no incident of abduction of crew reported since the last incident in 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. The threat of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains high particularly in the areas of Sulu and nearby waters off Tawi-Tawi.
The ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory issued via ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report all incidents immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.
The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.
… ReCAAP ISC noted.