ReCAAP: 11 Incidents Of Piracy Against Ships Reported In Asia (May 2020)

A total of 11 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in May 2020. Of the 11 incidents, one was a piracy incident and 10 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.

There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, Malaysia in May 2020; however, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious concern as demonstrated by the Warning issued by ReCAAP ISC on 23 May that a group of about five Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members armed with assorted firearms was planning to conduct abduction of crew activities in undisclosed areas off Sabah

ReCAAP ISC is also concerned about the continued occurrence of incidents onboard ships while underway in the Singapore Strait; three incidents were reported in May 2020

Anti Piracy at sea
Representation Image – Credits: IMO Collection/

With these, a total of 15 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait during Jan-May 2020 comprising 12 incidents occurred in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), one incident in the westbound lane of the TSS, one incident just outside (south) of the TSS and one incident in the precautionary area

Number of Incidents from January to May 2020

  • During January-May 2020, a total of 49 incidents (comprising 48 actual incidents and one attempted incident) of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia
  • Of the 49 incidents, two were incidents of piracy and 47 were incidents of armed robbery against ships
  • Compared to January-May 2019, the total number of incidents reported during January-May 2020 had almost doubled
  • A total of 25 incidents (comprising 22 actual incidents and three attempted incidents) were reported during January-May 2019
  • The number of incidents reported during Jan-May 2020 was the highest compared to the same period of 2016-2019
  • The increase of incidents during January-May 2020 occurred mostly in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore Strait

Press Release

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