In January 2021, seven incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. No piracy incident was reported.
The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. In January 2021, three incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.
The incidents occurred in close proximity to each other, and in particular, two incidents occurred within an interval of four hours. The ReCAAP ISC has issued an Incident Alert [IA 01/2021] on 29 Jan to alert the shipping community of the situation in the Singapore Strait.
There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah in January 2021. However, the risk of the abduction of crew remains high as demonstrated by the abduction of crew incident on 17 Jan 20 (with four crew still held in captivity), information of planned kidnapping (as reported in ReCAAP ISC’s Warning issued on 7 Jul 20), and the military operation on 3 Nov 20 by the Philippines authorities in preventing a kidnap-for-ransom incident.
NUMBER OF INCIDENTS
In January 2021, seven incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. All incidents were actual incidents. No attempted incident was reported. All incidents have been verified and reported to the ReCAAP ISC by ReCAAP Focal Points and Contact Point.
STATUS OF SHIPS
Of the seven incidents reported in January 2021, three incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait, three incidents occurred on board ships while anchored at anchorages in Indonesia (Belawan Anchorage and Muara Berau Anchorage) and Kandla Anchorage, India, and one incident occurred on board a ship while berthed at Makar Wharf Berth No. 5 to 7, General Santos City, Philippines.
SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL OF INCIDENTS
Of the seven incidents reported in January 2021, four were CAT 3 incidents and three were CAT 4 incidents (where the perpetrators were not armed and crew not harmed). Of the four CAT 3 incidents, two incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait, and two incidents occurred on board ships while anchored at Belawan Anchorage and Muara Berau Anchorage.
In all four incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives. The crew was safe with no confrontation with the perpetrators. Nothing was reported stolen in the two incidents that occurred in the Singapore Strait, while ship stores were stolen in the other two incidents that occurred at Belawan Anchorage and Muara Berau Anchorage.
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