Robbery on ships in Asia, but no piracy in January

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has released its January 2020 Report on the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

There were 11 incidents of armed robbery against ships reported in Asia in January 2020, but no piracy incidents were reported.

There was one incident of abduction of crew that occurred off Pulau Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah, East Malaysia.

ReCAAP ISC said that it was concerned at the continued occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. In January there were four incidents reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS).

Of the 11 reported incidents last month, six incidents occurred on board ships when at anchor, and five incidents on board ships while they were underway.

Only one incident was Cat 1 (the most serious). That involved the abduction of eight crew from a fishing trawler on January 17th off Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia. On January 18th the Malaysian authorities recovered three of the eight crew in the vicinity of Lahad Datu, Sabah, but the remaining five crew were still being held in captivity.

In the single Cat 3 incident, which occurred on board a tanker anchored off Port Kabil, Pulau Batam, Indonesia , the crew confronted the perpetrators, who were armed with sharp weapons, and captured one of them. The other three perpetrators escaped.  One of the crew suffered a facial injury.