9 Incidents Of Armed Robbery Against Ships Reported In Asia; 35% Increase Recorded (Oct. 2020 Report)

In October 2020, nine incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. No piracy incident was reported. With these incidents, the total number of incidents from January to October 2020 was 84 incidents, which represents an increase of 35% compared to the same period of 2019 (62 incidents).

The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the overall increase of incidents in Asia, and particularly with the continued occurrence of incidents (robberies and thefts) in the Singapore Strait. Six incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait in October 2020.

Number of Incidents
Image Credits: recaap.org

With these, a total of 28 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait during JanuaryOctober 2020 comprising 24 incidents occurred in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), two incidents in the precautionary area, one incident in the westbound lane of the TSS and one incident just outside (south) of the TSS.

There was no report of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, Malaysia in October 2020. However, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious concern as demonstrated by the Warning issued on 2 July by the ReCAAP ISC on a planned abduction of the crew by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and a kidnap-for-ransom plan of ASG members thwarted by the Joint Task Force of Sulu on 3 November.


Of the nine incidents reported in October 2020, seven incidents occurred on board ships while underway and two incidents on board ships while at anchor.

Significance level of incidents
Image Credits: recaap.org


All the nine incidents reported in October 2020 were CAT 4 incidents (where the perpetrators are not armed and crew not harmed). Of the nine incidents, six incidents occurred to ships while underway in the Singapore Strait, one incident occurred to an offshore supply ship while anchored at Kakinada OPL anchorage, India, one incident occurred to a chemical tanker while anchored at Dumai Anchorage, Indonesia and one incident occurred to a bulk carrier while underway in the Saigon River, Vietnam.

Chart 1 shows the significance level of incidents reported each month from October 2019 to October 2020.

Please access the full report on the ReCAAP ISC website.

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