Singapore: The regional piracy watchdog, ReCAAP has issued a report on the growing trend of maritime fuel theft. Figures for the first seven months show that incidents of fuel syphoning has leapt over the recent past.
“Attributing to the surge in the number of incidents are various factors, including the market price of fuel/oil, the demand for fuel/oil in underground markets, the absence of authorities in locations where the siphoning occurred which in most instances, were outside areas of jurisdiction,” ReCAAP noted.
The majority of incidents have taken place in the South China Sea at night time with small tankers of between 1,000 to 2,000 gt targeted.
Demand for fuel/oil remains high and pirates/robbers are likely to continue with this lucrative business unless governments and shipping industry can work together collectively to arrest the perpetuators to serve as a deterrence, ReCAAP said.
Pirates/robbers appeared to have knowledge of the amount and types of fuel/oil carried onboard the tankers and the route taken by the tankers.
Vigilance and readiness of the crew is still the best practice adopted, ReCAAP said, while also suggesting shipowners carry out background checks on their crews. [28/07/14]