Two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia, one CAT 31 and one CAT 42 were reported from 17-24 January 2023.
One incident occurred on board a bulk carrier while underway in the Singapore Strait; and another incident on board a chemical tanker while anchored at Kandla Anchorage, India.
Nothing was stolen from the bulk carrier, while brass valves, stainless bolt, and nuts were reported stolen from the chemical tanker. The crew members were not injured in both incidents.
Area of concern
The continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait. With this incident on 20 Jan 23, a total of three incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2023.
The Centre advises ships to continue to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting the Singapore Strait, and the littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in the area.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), after careful consideration of inputs from stakeholders and counterparts with vital involvement in securing the Sulu-Celebes Seas maritime security measure, recommends the downgrading of the threat of the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ from ‘POTENTIALLY HIGH’ to ‘MODERATE’. The MODERATE threat level implies that ‘Incidents are possible to occur but are relatively less severe in nature’.
As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas has diminished since January 2020 due to successful military operations and robust law enforcement initiatives, the advisory to all ships to consider re-route from the area as an option based on its prerogative
For ships transiting the area, the ship masters and crew are strongly encouraged to exercise extra vigilance and report all incidents immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.
Ship masters and crew are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance, and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.