Robberies on the rise in the Philippines

With more ships calling the Philippines this year to carry out crew changes there has been a concurrent rise in robberies onboard ships.

The Singapore Navy’s Information Fusion Centre has highlighted a significant growth this year in what is describes as opportunistic robberies at the Philippine capital, Manila, as well as in Batangas to the south.

Robbers – often armed with knives – have been targeting ships that are anchored or berthed with a low freeboard.

In most cases at ports, the perpetrators were discovered on the upper deck, having climbed up the vessels through the mooring lines, and had targeted ship’s equipment and personal belongings. Meanwhile, perpetrators in small boats approaching vessels outside the port tend to use a line with a hook to climb to anchored vessels.

“The similarity of incidents suggests the same person or group of perpetrators may again try to conduct these kinds of attacks in the near future if the situation permits,” the Singaporean navy warned.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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