Robbery attempts in the Singapore Strait escalate

Sunday saw two pirate incidents take place within an interval of an hour to a bulk carrier and a tanker while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.

The Information Sharing Centre (ISC) at the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP) reported some engine spares were stolen in one incident, and nothing was reported stolen in the other. There was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew.

With these two incidents, a total of six incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2020, all in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait.

The ReCAAP ISC said today it is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait and the persistence of the perpetrators in their attempts to board ships.

“Since the perpetrators of these incidents are not arrested, there is a possibility of further incidents reported in the Singapore Strait,” the piracy watchdog noted.

All ships have been strongly advised to exercise utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal state. The ReCAAP ISC has recommended to the law enforcement agencies of the littoral states to further step up surveillance, increase patrols and enhance cooperation and coordination among them in order to respond promptly to incidents.

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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