ACCORDING to ReCAAP ISC, a total of three incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in February 2016. No piracy incident was reported. The number of incidents reported in February 2016 is lowest in the last 12-months period. Furthermore, no incidents involving oil cargo theft was reported in February 2016, continuously from September 2015.
SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL OF INCIDENTS
All three incidents in February 2016 were Category 4 incidents, indicating that the incidents were opportunistic in nature involving perpetrators who were not armed and escaped immediately after realising that they have been sighted by the crew. Of the three incidents, one reported loss of stores and in the other two incidents, nothing was stolen.
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENTS
Of the three incidents reported in February 2016, two occurred on board ships while anchored in India (Tuna Buoy anchorage, Kandla and Haldia Dock Complex, Kolkata); and the third incident occurred while the ship was underway in the Gulf of Khambat off Gadhula, India.
PROACTIVE ACTIONS BY INDIAN COAST GUARD (ICG)
In response to the increase in incidents at certain ports and anchorages in India since January 2016, the ICG had intensified its sea patrolling activities especially during hours of darkness. A total of six incidents had been reported in India in January 2016. The apprehension of a suspected boat on 22 Feb 16 along with all eight suspects demonstrates the determination and commitment of the ICG in clamping down such illegal maritime activities in the region.
The situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia continued to improve in February 2016 with lowest number of incidents reported during February 2015-February 2016. Coupled with the decrease in the number of incidents was also a reduction in the severity level of incidents. Notably, no incident involving hijacking of tankers for the of oil cargo had been reported since September 2015. Also, there was no report of unauthorised boarding in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) since November 2015.
According to records compiled by OCEANUSLive, 5 incidents against ships occurred in February 2016, a further 2 to those reported by ReCAAP. The incidents were Category 4 under ReCAAP assessments; one involved robbery from a product tanker on 14 Feb at Batangas anchorage, Philippines, and the other a boarding of a product tanker on 8 Feb without loss at Kandla anchorage in India. The number of incidents is a decrease on January 2016 figure of 9 incidents.