THE ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre released its August 2020 Report on the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.
It reported that in the month of August, six incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. No piracy incident was reported.
There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, Malaysia in August 2020.
However, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious concern as demonstrated by the warning issued by ReCAAP ISC on 2 July that five Abu Sayyaf Group members were planning to conduct abduction of crew from ships passing by the TawiTawi and Sabah waters.
ReCAAP ISC is concerned about the continued occurrence of incidents onboard ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. Two incidents were reported in this area during August.
With these, a total of 21 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait during January-August 2020 comprising 17 incidents occurred in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme, two incidents in the precautionary area, one incident in the westbound lane of the TSS and one incident just outside (south) of the TSS.
During January-August 2020, a total of 65 incidents (comprising 63 actual incidents and two attempted incidents) of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. Of the 65 incidents, three were incidents of piracy and 62 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.
Compared to January-August 2019, the total number of incidents reported during January-August 2020 had increased by 38%.
The number of incidents reported during January-August 2020 was the highest compared to the same period from 2016 to 2019.