ACCORDING TO ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre, in May 2021 four incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. No piracy incident was reported. Of the four incidents, three were actual incidents³ and one was an attempted incident⁴.
During January-May 2021, 28 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. Of these incidents, 26 were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents.
Compared to January-May 2020, the total number of incidents during January-May 2021 decreased by 45%. A total of 51 incidents (50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported during January-May 2020. The graph shows the total number of incidents reported during January-May of 2007-2021.
The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents onboard ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. In May 2021, three incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait.
There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah in May 2021. However, the threat of abduction of crew remains high, with information such as the operation on 3 November 2020 by the Philippine authorities in preventing a kidnap-for-ransom plan by the Abu Sayyaf Group and the escape of one of the ASG Commanders responsible for the abduction of crew in Sulu area during a military operation on 23 April 2021.
Of the four incidents reported in May 2021, three incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait and one incident on board a ship while underway off Diu, India.
Of the three actual incidents reported in May 2021, one was a CAT 3 incident and two were CAT 4 incidents (where the perpetrators were not armed and crew not harmed).
The CAT 3 incident occurred onboard a bulk carrier while underway in the Singapore Strait. Four perpetrators boarded the ship and were sighted in the engine room by the duty oiler. One of the perpetrators threatened the duty oiler with a knife but did not harm him. The perpetrators escaped without stealing anything.
Of the two CAT 4 incidents, one incident occurred onboard a bulk carrier while underway in the Singapore Strait and the other incident occurred onboard a dead ship towed by a tug boat while underway off Diu, India. In the incident in the Singapore Strait, engine gaskets and O-rings were stolen. For the incident off India, the exact items stolen from the dead ship are not confirmed yet.