IMB Piracy and Armed Robbery Report Q3 2021

News & Insights 22 October 2021

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​In the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report on Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships for Q3 in 2021, it found that the number of incidents reported in the first nine months of 2021 was the lowest recorded since 1994....

Cargo container ship

​In the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report on Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships for Q3 in 2021, it found that the number of incidents reported in the first nine months of 2021 was the lowest recorded since 1994. The 97 incidents reported include 85 ships boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels fired upon, and one vessel hijacked. Despite the record-low number of reported incidents, violence against crew has continued with 51 crew kidnapped, eight taken hostage, five threatened, three injured, two assaulted and one killed, according to the latest IMB statistics. The report highlights that crew must remain vigilant as violence against crew remains high in many areas of the world.

Decrease in Gulf of Guinea

The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020. Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020. All Q3 incidents in 2021 were also against ships at port anchorages whilst the average successful kidnapping location in Q3 2020 was approximately 100 nautical miles from land. 

According to IMB, the overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region is a testament to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities. Notwithstanding news of more positive developments, the IMB warns that the risk to crew remains high in the region and that such efforts must therefore be sustained. 

Ships transiting this region are encouraged to remain vigilant at all times and comply with Best Management Practice West Africa (BMP WA).

Worrying signs in Singapore Straits

The Singapore Straits reported 20 incidents of armed robbery – the highest number recorded since 1991. Reported incidents in the Singapore Straits are up from 15 in 2020 and just one incident in 2019.

These attacks are low‐level and opportunistic in nature, but IMB warns that the perpetrators pose a direct threat to crew and ships underway. In four incidents, crew were either threatened, assaulted, or injured.

Ships are encouraged to remain vigilant and maintain a strict watch with anti-piracy measures in place.

Concern off the coast of Peru

The Callao Anchorage in Peru is another area that has witnessed an increase of piracy activity with 15 reported incidents in 2021 – the highest number since 1991.  As with the Singapore Straits, these incidents are low‐level thefts with knives being reported in 60% of the incidents. Attackers in the region possess the capacity to carry out violent attacks with three crew taken hostage and a further one each assaulted or threatened during the first nine months of 2021. All ship types are being targeted.

Improvements in Indonesia

The IMB PRC reported a noticeable reduction in the number of reported incidents in Indonesian waters with only six low‐level incidents reported in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 23 incidents during the same period in 2020. This is the lowest total of reported piracy and armed robbery incidents in Indonesian waters since 1993. The report commends the policies and proactive response measures implemented by the Indonesian Marine Police informed IMB PRC reporting.

The full report can be found in the attachment below. For more information, please contact your usual club contact or the authors of this news item.

Category: Maritime Security

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