ReCAAP, the regional watchdog for piracy and robbery at sea in Asian region, in its August incident report states: In all there were 24 incidents of armed robbery against ships out of which 22 were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents. No piracy incident was reported in the month of August 2015.
The report also shows that after a dip in the number of incidents in June and July, August shows a marked increase in incidents, although 14 out of the 24 incidents involved petty theft and cannot be classified as piracy. Out of the total 141 incidents, from January 2015 to August 2015,a comparative study with the same time period during 2014 shows an increase of 18% this year.
ReCAAP sites maximum incidents as having occurred in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore region. The organization has specified one category 1 incident where ship fuel was siphoned off a bunker tanker Joaquim in the Malacca Strait.
On August 8th, 2015, Singapore-registered tanker MT Joaquim , ferrying 3,500 tonnes of fuel oil, was hijacked and its oil cargo has been stolen. MMEA spotted the tanker a day later about 13.7 n miles off Tanjung Keling, Malaysia. The crew was rescued; however the master and some bunker crew had been beaten up by the pirates. On 11th August, the Indonesian authority detained another tanker, that they suspected had been used in the hijack mission.
The number of siphoning incidents in 2015 is fairly consistent when compared to the same period in 2014. Report states that the number of category 2 incidents remained almost same, however, there has been a surge in the number of category 3 and other incidents, such as unauthorized boarding incidents where no direct encounter with crew took place and no loss of property reported. The Indonesian authorities have nabbed several perpetrators connected to the fuel siphoning crime and armed robbery against ships in Asia.
Protection and indemnity insurance clubs, have issued a predictive warning against further such attacks in the near future.