December 13, 2017
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Growing threat
Piracy in Asia-Pacific may hit economies Piracy in Asia-Pacific region is growing and the pirates are graduating from mere bandit like organization to a full-fledged regular militia which is seizing commercial ships and demanding ransoms more frequently than ever before. There were not any incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah in October and there were no incidents involving the hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo. However, there was an increase in the number of incidents occurring on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). The number of incidents occurring during January-October this year was 60, the lowest for the same period over the last 10 years. But suddenly it is increasing now due to a wide ranging factor. ReCAAP ISC attributes the improvement to, among other factors, improvement of the situation at certain ports and anchorages in Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam but experts believe now new outfits are entering into the game which may complicate the situation. Over the time, there was an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong), Philippines (Manila and Batangas) and on board ships while underway in the SOMS where all seven incidents occurred in the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the Singapore Strait. Mostly opportunistic in nature, the perpetrators boarded the ships
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