Piracy in South-East Asia waters continues as ships passing the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are falling victim to acts of piracy.
Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia operate anti-piracy patrols in the area. As piracy rampages on, Indonesia and Malaysia has taken efforts to jointly increase security.
On 11 June 2015, eight armed men boarded the Orkim Harmony a Malaysian registered tanker carrying goods worth more than USD 5 million and hijacked about 30 nautical miles from the Malaysian Port of Tanjung Sedili.
After the Pirates restrained the crew, they repainted and renamed the vessel Kim Harmon. An Australian air force patrol eventually spotted the stolen tanker. The pirates, all Indonesian, were arrested in Vietnamese waters.
As of mid August 2015, following the attack on MT JOAQUIM, more than 70 ships have fallen prey to pirate attacks in the Malacca and Singapore Straits. South-East Asian pirates steal bunkers, palm oil and chemicals from slow moving tankers. The attacks are clearly getting more violent.
Patrolling at this stage would be insufficient and some prefer armed guards onboard. The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency has deployed a helicopter-equipped special tasks and rescue (“STAR”) team at Johor Bahru. Shipowners want regional navies to strengthen anti-piracy operations.