Four incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in August 2017, according to the latest monthly news from ReCAAP ISC. Of these four incidents, three were actual incidents and one was an attempted armed robbery that was aborted. There were no reported piracy incidents.
The Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah, which had been dangerous for more than two years, appear to have quietened down in the wake of a hardline Philippines attack on rebels in the southern Philippines. There were no incidents in this region in August 2017.
For the year to date, 43 incidents were reported during January-August 2017, 36 of them actual incidents and seven aborted before any incident took place. The number of incidents reported so far this year is the lowest in the 10-year reporting period, and was down 20% year on year. The number was down 72% from Jan-Aug 2015, when terrorist/criminal organization Abu Sayyaf was highly active.
The improvement this year has been attributed to the improvement of the situation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore since 2016, and at certain ports and anchorages in India, Indonesia and Vietnam. One sour note was the fact that there was an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong) and Philippines (Manila and Batangas) compared with the same period last year.