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News: Update on piracy and armed robbery in Asia

25 March 2020

Since its establishment in 2006, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) via the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), has been promoting information sharing in relation to piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. ReCAAP ISC issues a series of reports including annual and monthly reports as well as incident alerts. The club attended the ReCAAP Nautical Forum held in Singapore on 15 January 2020 when ReCAAP officially introduced their annual report for 2019. 

The 2019 report covers piracy and armed robbery against ships throughout Asia. The findings of the latest annual report show that during 2019, a total of 82 actual and attempted incidents were reported in Asia. This included 71 actual incidents and 11 attempted incidents accounting for an increase of 8% in the total number of incidents and a 15% increase in the actual incidents. The Singapore Straits accounted for the highest number of piracy and/or robbery incidents in Asia with 31 reported actual incidents and two attempted incidents involving thieves boarding ships underway in the strait, albeit that the majority of these incidents were considered minor in nature including petty thefts and pilferage on tugs and barges. During the Forum, concerns were raised in relation to abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Sea area and there was a reminder about the separate previous ReCAAP guidance focussed on this issue.
 
Since the publication of the annual report there have been two monthly reports published. The January 2020 report noted that there was a series of incidents on board ships in the Singapore Straits whilst the February 2020 report highlighted that there have been an increase of incidents in India.
 
A copy of the reports and associated guidance can be found in here.