ReCAAP Raises Red Flag over Crew Abductions in Asia

Image Courtesy: ReCAAP ISC

The number of piracy and armed robbery incidents in Asia during January-June 2016 has decreased by 64% compared to the same period in 2015, but the incidents involving abduction of crew members remains a concern, ReCAAP ISC said in its half yearly report.

A total of four incidents of abduction of crew has been reported off Eastern Sabah and Southern Philippines since March 2016. Ships masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra caution while operating in the area of concern and the littoral States should step up surveillance and patrols, ReCAAP said.

Overall, 41 incidents were reported during January-June 2016 compared to 114 incidents in 2015.

The decline in the number of incidents reported during January-June 2016 was most evident in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). One incident was reported in SOMS during January-June 2016 compared to 55 incidents during the same period in 2015.

The number of incidents involving hijacking of tankers for oil cargo theft has also decreased during January-June 2016. Two incidents involving the hijacking of tankers for oil cargo theft were reported during January-June 2016 compared to 10 such incidents during the same period in 2015.

A total of six CAT 1 incidents were reported during January-June 2016 compared to 10 CAT 1 incidents reported during same period in 2015. Of the six CAT 1 incidents, four involved the abduction of crew and two involved the hijacking of ships for oil cargo theft.

The situation at most ports and anchorages in Asia has improved during January-June 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, except at certain ports and anchorages in India and Indonesia, according to the report.

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