Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia

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Image used for representational purposes only

OVERVIEW

The ReCAAP ISC received report of one incident of armed robbery against ships occurred on 16 Jun 19 in Teluk Ramunia waters, off Pengerang, Malaysia. The location of the incident is shown in map below, and description tabulated in attachment.

SITUATION OF ABDUCTION OF CREW IN THE SULU-CELEBES SEAS – UPDATE ON THE ABDUCTION OF 10 CREW FROM TWO FISHING BOATS ON 18 JUN 19

On 18 Jun 19, the ReCAAP ISC issued a Warning on the abduction of 10 crew from two fishing boats off Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia. Upon verification of the incidents by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the ReCAAP ISC issued an Incident Alert on the same day with information on the sighting of the abducted crew in the area of Pondohan, Tabawan, Sitangkai, Tawi-tawi, Philippines at about 0330 hrs on 18 Jun 19.

On 21 Jun 19 at about 2200 hrs, elements of the maritime police station were on mobile patrol at Bgy Kahawa, Talipao, Sulu and they sighted a group of nine men walking along the road. After interviewing the men, they were confirmed to be the abducted crew who were released by their abductors who could have realised that the abducted crew had no money nor anything to give as ransom. The nine men were brought to Talipao for custody and debrief. One of the abducted crew is still missing. Refer to map below.

This is the first abduction of crew incident reported in 2019. The last incident of abduction of crew occurred on 5 Dec 18.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As the risk of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah is high as demonstrated by the abduction of 10 crew on 18 Jun 19, the ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory issued via the ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report immediately to the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.

The contact details of the Operation Centres of Philippines and ESSCOM of Malaysia (updated by ReCAAP ISC on 3 Jan 19) are as follows:

The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.

Sea News, June 28