In May 2021, four incidents of armed robbery against ships¹ were reported in Asia. No piracy² incident was reported. Of the four incidents, three were actual incidents³ and one was an attempted incident⁴.
The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. In May 2021, three incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.
There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah in May 2021. However, the threat of abduction of crew remains high, with information such as the operation on 3 Nov 20 by the Philippine authorities in preventing a kidnap-for-ransom plan by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the escape of one of the ASG Commanders responsible for the abduction of crew in Sulu area during a military operation on 23 Apr 21 (page 10 of this report).
NUMBER OF INCIDENTS
In May 2021, four incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. Of the four incidents, three were actual incidents and one was an attempted incident. All incidents have been verified and reported to the ReCAAP ISC by ReCAAP Focal Points. Refer to the Appendix for the ‘Description of incidents (May 2021)’ on pages 21-22.
STATUS OF SHIPS
Of the four incidents reported in May 2021, three incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait and one incident on board a ship while underway off Diu, India.
SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL OF INCIDENTS
Of the three actual incidents reported in May 2021, one was a CAT 3 incident and two were CAT 4 incidents (where the perpetrators were not armed and crew not harmed).
The CAT 3 incident occurred on board a bulk carrier while underway in the Singapore Strait. Four perpetrators boarded the ship and were sighted in the engine room by the duty oiler. One of the perpetrators threatened the duty oiler with a knife but did not harm him.
The perpetrators escaped without stealing anything.
Of the two CAT 4 incidents, one incident occurred on board a bulk carrier while underway in the Singapore Strait and the other incident occurred on board a dead ship towed by a tug boat while underway off Diu, India. In the incident in the Singapore Strait, engine
gaskets and O-rings were stolen. For the incident off India, the exact items stolen from the dead ship are not confirmed yet.