Four New Incidents Of Armed Robbery Reported

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Four incidents of armed robbery against ships (two CAT 2 and two CAT 4) in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 9th – 16th April 2024.

Area Of Concern

With the incidents in SOMS, a total of 14 incidents were reported in the area since January 2024. There has also been an increase of incidents at Bangladesh ports/anchorages, with a total of six incidents (four actual and two attempted incidents) reported since January 2024. The ReCAAP ISC advises ships to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting SOMS, and the littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in the area and at ports and anchorages.

Reassessing Threat Level 

The efforts by the Philippine Government in Zamboanga, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi through the conduct of continuous military operations led to the dismantling of the support base and neutralizing the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Sulu archipelago. Against this backdrop, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), coordinated with other stakeholders and counterparts that have vital involvement in the maritime security of the Sulu-Celebes Seas, reviewed the threat situation, and recommended further downgrading the threat level of ‘Abduction of the crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ from ‘MODERATE’ to ‘MODERATE LOW’, which implies that ‘Incidents are unlikely to occur due to perpetrators’ perceived lack of capability to orchestrate an attack. Nevertheless, minimal damages are expected to the vessel and crew in case of an attack.

Recommendations

Ship master and crew are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State RCC and flag State, referring to the Poster on Contact Details for Reporting of Incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, exercise vigilance and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

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Source: Safety4sea