ReCAAP ISC 3rd Quarter Report on Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (Jan-Sep 2019)

Piracy and Terrorism, Reports — By on October 18, 2019 at 9:05 AM

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre today released the 3rd Quarter Report on Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia for January to September 2019:

Executive Summary

  • A total of 54 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 49 actual incidents and five attempted incidents) were reported in Asia during January-September 2019
  • Compared to 64 incidents during January-September 2018 (comprising 50 actual incidents and 14 attempted incidents), this represents a 16% decrease in the total number of incidents reported
  • However, in terms of actual incidents, there was only one incident less during January-September 2019 compared to the same period in 2018
  • Of the 54 incidents reported during January-September 2019, two were incidents of piracy, and 52 were incidents of armed robbery against ships

Situation in Ports & Anchorages

  • There was improvement at some ports and anchorages in Asia during January-September 2019 compared to January-September 2018
  • The improvement occurred in Bangladesh and Indonesia
  • In Bangladesh, no incident was reported at the ports and anchorages during January-September 2019 compared to 11 incidents reported during the same period in 2018
  • In Indonesia, the number of incidents at its ports and anchorages had decreased to 17 incidents during January-September 2019 from 26 incidents during the same period in 2018

Abduction of Crew for Ransom

  • Of concern was the occurrence of two incidents of abduction of crew for ransom on 18 Jun and 23 Sep in the waters off Eastern Sabah, Malaysia
  • The risk of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains high as demonstrated by the two abduction incidents
  • The coastal States concerned are requested to enhance surveillance, patrols and maintain contacts with ships transiting the area
  • Shipping companies are advised to follow the ReCAAP ISC’s advisory issued via the ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area where possible, otherwise to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the area and report immediately to the operation centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia
  • In July 2019, the ReCAAP ISC produced the ‘Guidance on Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah’ to shipping companies and ships to enhance their situation awareness and take appropriate countermeasures to avoid such incidents

Increase of Incidents on board Ships while underway in the Singapore Strait

  • Also of concern was the increase of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait during January-September 2019
  • A total of 15 incidents were reported during January-September 2019 compared to seven incidents during the same period in 2018
  • There was also an increase of incidents on ships anchored off Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia; five incidents were reported during January-September 2019, while no such incident was reported during the same period in 2018


  • Given the persistent incidents in several locations as indicated in this Report, ReCAAP ISC recommends to the law enforcement agencies in Asia to enhance surveillance, step up patrols, particularly in the areas of concern, and respond quickly to incidents reported by ships
  • Ship masters are advised to implement preventive measures recommended in the ‘Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia’, exercise enhanced vigilance, maintain look-out for suspicious boats and report all incidents to the nearest coastal State immediately
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