Armed Robbery Incident & Threat Assessment

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One incident of armed robbery against ships (CAT 3) in Asia was reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 5th – 11th March 2024, says an article published on safety4sea website.

Summary

  • ReCAAP ISC received a report of one armed robbery incident (CAT 3) against a bulk carrier in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) between 5th to 11th March 2024.
  • SOMS has seen eight reported incidents since January 2024, prompting concerns about maritime security.
  • ReCAAP ISC advises enhanced vigilance for ships transiting SOMS and urges littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement efforts.
  • Successes in dismantling support bases and neutralizing ASG in the Sulu archipelago have led to a threat level downgrade from ‘MODERATE’ to ‘MODERATE LOW’ for abduction of crew incidents in the Sulu-Celebes Seas.

Incident Report

During the period of 5th to 11th March 2024, the ReCAAP ISC received a report of one armed robbery incident against ships (CAT 3) in Asia. The incident occurred on 6th March 2024 aboard a bulk carrier while it was underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).

Area Of Concern

The SOMS region has seen a total of eight reported incidents since January 2024, raising concerns about maritime security. In response, the ReCAAP ISC advises ships transiting SOMS to maintain enhanced vigilance. Additionally, littoral States are urged to increase patrols and enforcement efforts in these critical areas.

Threat Level Downgrade

Efforts by the Philippine Government, particularly in Zamboanga, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, have resulted in the dismantling of support bases and neutralizing the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Sulu archipelago.

This success has led to a reassessment of the threat level related to the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). The threat level has been downgraded from ‘MODERATE’ to ‘MODERATE LOW,’ indicating a perceived decrease in the capability of perpetrators to carry out such attacks.

ReCAAP ISC Advisory Update

In light of the threat level downgrade, the ReCAAP ISC has updated its advisory for ships transiting the Sulu-Celebes Seas area. While the advisory still encourages vigilance, it acknowledges that incidents are now less likely to occur due to reduced perpetrator capabilities.

Recommendations For Ship Masters And Crew

Ship masters and crew members are strongly advised to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery immediately to the nearest coastal State RCC (Rescue Coordination Centre) and flag State. This reporting should be done in accordance with established protocols outlined in the Poster on Contact Details for Reporting of Incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

Furthermore, maintaining vigilance and implementing appropriate preventive measures based on the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia are recommended for safe maritime operations in the region.

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Source: safety4sea