The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) on Wednesday (23 October) issued an alert highlighting three piracy incidents along the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait within the last 20-day period.
The bulk carrier Transpacific, VLCC Hirado, and bulk carrier Nord Steel were boarded by pirates on 30 September, 18 October, and 19 October respectively – only Nord Steel had items (engine spares including piston rings, oil rings, valve seats, valve spindles, crankpin bearing shell etc.) stolen.
All three incidents occurred to ships of Gross Tonnage between 43,000 and 160,000 while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) during hours of darkness between 2314 hrs and 0100 hrs.
All three incidents involved five perpetrators. Though there is no substantiate evidence, it is possible that the same group of five perpetrators boarded Hirado and then Nord Steel as the two incidents occurred within an interval of two hours and in close proximity to each other, suggested ReCAAP.
“With the occurrence of three incidents in close proximity to each other within a period of 20 days (on 30 Sep, 18 Oct and 19 Oct), the ReCAAP ISC advises all ships to exercise enhanced vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State,” it states.
“The ReCAAP ISC recommends to the law enforcement agencies of the littoral States to step up surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to incidents reported by ships.”
Photo credit: ReCAAP
Published: 24 October, 2019
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