Piracy and armed robberies on the rise in Singapore Strait

The number of piracy cases and armed robberies on vessels in the Singapore Strait has reached a five-year high last year with 34 documented cases, according to information released on January 15 by the center of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

This continues a rising trend after only 17 incidents were reported from 2016 to 2018, according to the center.

Of the 34 cases, 30 occurred in the eastbound lane near the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, with the most common type of vessel targeted having been bigger ships such as bulk carriers. In some incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives, and items stolen ranged from cash to mobile phones to engine spares. In one incident, a crew member was injured.

However, the severity of incidents remained moderate, with almost three quarters of cases in the lowest category, in which perpetrators were not armed and crew members were left unharmed.

The report further noted that there was a decrease in the number of incidents in the westbound lane of the Strait, possibly due to increased enforcement there and the decreasing price of scrap metal, which has traditionally been sold on the black market.

Covid-19 crisis may have contributed to rise in piracy and robbery cases

Overall, the center said the increase in sea robbery incidents could again be attributed to the busy strait’s narrow waterways and slow-moving ships, making the area prone to robberies. The Covid-19 pandemic could have also contributed to this rise, it added, reiterating calls for coastal states to increase patrols and response promptly to incidents.

Apart from the Singapore Strait, an increased number of incidents also occurred in the waters of Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and in the South China Sea, the center said.

By official definition, piracy refers to attacks in international waters, while armed robbery refers to attacks within a state’s territorial waters.



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The number of piracy cases and armed robberies on vessels in the Singapore Strait has reached a five-year high last year with 34 documented cases, according to information released on January 15 by the center of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia. This continues a rising trend after only 17 incidents were reported from 2016 to 2018, according to the center. Of the 34 cases, 30 occurred in the eastbound lane near the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, with the most common type of vessel targeted having been bigger ships such as...

The number of piracy cases and armed robberies on vessels in the Singapore Strait has reached a five-year high last year with 34 documented cases, according to information released on January 15 by the center of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

This continues a rising trend after only 17 incidents were reported from 2016 to 2018, according to the center.

Of the 34 cases, 30 occurred in the eastbound lane near the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, with the most common type of vessel targeted having been bigger ships such as bulk carriers. In some incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives, and items stolen ranged from cash to mobile phones to engine spares. In one incident, a crew member was injured.

However, the severity of incidents remained moderate, with almost three quarters of cases in the lowest category, in which perpetrators were not armed and crew members were left unharmed.

The report further noted that there was a decrease in the number of incidents in the westbound lane of the Strait, possibly due to increased enforcement there and the decreasing price of scrap metal, which has traditionally been sold on the black market.

Covid-19 crisis may have contributed to rise in piracy and robbery cases

Overall, the center said the increase in sea robbery incidents could again be attributed to the busy strait’s narrow waterways and slow-moving ships, making the area prone to robberies. The Covid-19 pandemic could have also contributed to this rise, it added, reiterating calls for coastal states to increase patrols and response promptly to incidents.

Apart from the Singapore Strait, an increased number of incidents also occurred in the waters of Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and in the South China Sea, the center said.

By official definition, piracy refers to attacks in international waters, while armed robbery refers to attacks within a state’s territorial waters.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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