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THE ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre reports a total of 37 incidents of armed robbery against ships (comprising 35 actual incidents and two attempted incidents) in Asia during January-June 2021.

This accounts for a 35% decrease, compared to a total of 57 incidents (comprising 56 actual incidents and one attempted incident) reported during the same period in 2020. All the incidents reported during January-June 2021 are armed robbery against ships. No piracy incident was reported.

The decrease of incidents during January-June 2021 occurred in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South China Sea and Sulu-Celebes Seas.

No incident was reported in Bangladesh during January-June 2021 compared to three incidents during January-June 2020. Two incidents were reported in India; six incidents in Indonesia; six incidents in the Philippines; and two incidents in Vietnam.

No incident was reported in the South China Sea during January-June 2021 compared to two incidents during the same period in 2020. No incident was reported in the Sulu-Celebes Seas during the period.

Concern continued however, over the occurrence of incidents onboard ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. A total of 20 incidents were reported during January-June 2021 compared to 16 incidents during the same period in 2020.

There was no incident of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah during January-June 2021.

The four abducted crew who had been held in captivity by the Abu Sayyaf Group since 17 January 2020 were rescued by the Philippine authorities on 18 March 21 and 21 March 2021. As a result, no crew is currently held in captivity by the ASG.

“The threat of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah still remains high,” said ReCAAP ISC.

“Ships transiting the area are advised to follow the ReCAAP ISC’s Guidance on Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah, and maintain communications with the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command.”

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