Singapore: Latest figures from the International Maritime Bureau show ships are being hijacked in Southeast Asian waters on average once a fortnight for the past 12 months, making the region by far the world’s hotspot for piracy. Small coastal tankers are most at threat. Southeast Asia accounted for more than half of all attacks since the beginning of 2015.
The ships tend to be plundered for their cargoes, the fuel being sold onto the black market.
“Criminal syndicates will continue to target small product tankers soon after they depart Singapore with the intention of stealing their cargo of marine fuel oil for the black market. All vessels at anchor in the major ports across Southeast Asia remain at risk of boarding by opportunistic local criminals with the target being ship stores, which are easily resold in thriving local markets,” UK security experts Dryad Maritime noted in a release last October.