Asian piracy and armed robberies at sea continue to fall in number

Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC has reported that there were 10 incidents of armed robbery against ships – nine actual incidents and one attempted incident – during Q1 2019, down from 21 incidents – 15 actual incidents and six attempted incidents – during the first three months of 2018.

ReCAAP said that both the total number of incidents and number of actual incidents reported during Q1 2019 were the lowest in the Q1 period since 2007.

The nine actual incidents reported in Q1 were also less severe, with one CAT 3 incident and eight CAT 4 (petty theft) incidents. There were no severe incidents (CAT 1 and CAT 2).

All the incidents in Q1 2019 were armed robbery against ships; no piracy incident was reported.

The improvement was most apparent at the ports and anchorages in Indonesia; with three incidents reported in Indonesia during January-March 2019 compared to nine incidents during the same period in 2018.

There were also improvements at the ports and anchorages in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam.

Despite the improvement of the situation in the Sulu-Celebes Seas, ReCAAP said that the abduction of crew for ransom remained a serious threat in the area.

Of concern was the increase in the number of incidents at some anchorages in China and incidents of theft of scrap metal from barges while underway in the Singapore Strait.