THE ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has issued an Incident Alert related to incidents of armed robbery against ships continuing to occur in the Singapore Strait.

During 8–11 April, three incidents (two incidents on 8 April and one incident on 11 April) were reported onboard ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait. The three incidents occurred in close proximity to each other (Tanjung Pergam, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia) and in particular, two incidents on 8 April occurred within an interval of four hours.

The perpetrators were sighted in the engine room in one of the incidents on 8 April and the incident on 11 April. Engine spares were reported stolen in the incident on 11 April and nothing was reported stolen in the other two incidents.

In one of the incidents on 8 April, the perpetrator confronted the engine room crew and hit him on the head when the crewman attempted to shout for assistance. There was no confrontation between the crew and the perpetrators in the other two incidents.

The ReCAAP ISC said in a statement that it is “concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait in 2021”. A total of 10 incidents were reported during January-April 2021, comprising nine incidents in the eastbound lane of the TSS and one incident in the westbound lane. In 2020, a total of 34 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait.

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“Although there was an arrest of five perpetrators in the Singapore Strait by the Indonesian Navy on 21 February, incidents have continued to occur in the area,” said ReCAAP.

“This suggests that there are other criminal groups operating in the Singapore Strait.”

The ReCAAP ISC urges the littoral states to increase patrols and enforcement in their respective waters as well as strengthen co-ordination among the littoral states, including information sharing on the latest situation, and the criminal groups involved, in order to make more arrests of the perpetrators.

“As the perpetrators of these incidents are not arrested, there is a possibility of further incidents,” said ReCAAP.

“All ships are advised to exercise enhanced vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal state.”

Ship masters and crew are advised to keep abreast of the latest situation (at www.recaap.org) and tune-in to advisories and navigational broadcasts announced by the littoral states.

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