Eight armed robberies against ships in Asia last month

There were eight incidents of armed robbery against ships reported in Asia in August 2018, according to the latest ReCAAP ISC report. No piracy incidents were reported. Neither was there any report of crew abduction in the Sulu-Celebes Seas. Finally, there were no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported last month.

Of the eight verified incidents (seven actual incidents and one attempted) of armed robbery against ships (down from nine in July) six incidents occurred on board ships at anchor/berth and two occurred on board ships that were underway.

Of the seven actual incidents reported last month, one was a CAT 2 incident and the other six were CAT 4 incidents.

For the first eight months of the year there were 57 verified incidents, comprising 45 actual incidents and 12 attempted. There were 54 actual and attempted incidents of armed robbery against ships, and three incidents of piracy.

For the same period last year there were 54 incidents, comprising 46 actual incidents and eight attempted.

Of the 45 actual incidents reported during January-August 2018, four were CAT 2 incidents, nine were CAT 3 incidents and 32 were CAT 4 incidents.

There was an increase in the number of incidents reported at anchorages off Chittagong, Bangladesh, with 11 incidents (nine actual, two attempted) from January to August 2018 compared to six incidents (all actual) reported during the same period in 2017. Of the 11 incidents reported during January-August 2018, 10 incidents occurred at anchorages off Chittagong (one incident was at anchorage off Kutubdia Island).

The Bangladesh authorities successfully recovered the stolen items in five of the incidents reported during January-August 2018 although there was no mention of the perpetrators being arrested, except in one case.

ReCAAP ISC has advised that all ships anchored off Chittagong secure all stores under lock-and-key and increase look-out during hours of darkness.

Late on August 4th a Kuching-registered oil tanker was underway from Bintulu to Sarawak, East Malaysia when five armed perpetrators wearing masks and gloves boarded the tanker from a small fast boat. They tied up all the crew and took away their cash, mobile phones and some jewellery items before escaping. The crew was not injured, and the ship was not carrying any oil cargo on board. MMEA arrested the alleged perpetrators on August 17th. All five are currently being held on remand