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Increase in piracy and armed robbery attacks against ships in Asia, says ReCAAP

A report from anti-piracy watchdog ReCAAP has revealed an increase in piracy and armed robbery attacks against ships in Asia.

According to ReCAAP, a total of nine incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in January.

Five were reported in the Gulf of Kutch, Kandla, and one in Visakhapatnam, India and other incidents were reported at Tianjin outer anchorage, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

However, no piracy incidents were reported.

The crews from the vessels were reported to be safe, while perpetrators escaped the vessels on being discovered by the crew.

Meanwhile, none of the events involved hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo.

ReCAAP report stated: “The situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia has improved since August 2015. Notably, for a consecutive three months since November 2015, there has been no actual incident reported on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS); and also no reported incident involving hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo since September 2015.

“However, there is no room for complacency as more needs to be done to enhance port security at certain ports and anchorages.”

The ReCAAP ISC has directed all vessels operating in this area to exercise improved vigilance and take extra precautionary measures.

In addition, the anti-piracy watchdog urged all the relevant enforcement agencies to step up surveillance and patrols.

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