ReCAAP ISC: Two Incidents Of Armed Robbery 20-26 February

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  • Two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC.
  • ReCAAP ISC have updated its Advisory for ships to “exercise vigilance & adopt necessary preventive measures while transiting the area”.
  • Ship master and crew are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships.

Two incidents of armed robbery against ships (one CAT 2 incident and one CAT 3 incident) in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 20th – 26th February 2024, reports Safety4sea.

The CAT 2 incident occurred onboard a tanker while anchored off Kutubdia Anchorage, Bangladesh on 19 Feb 2024; and the CAT 3 incident occurred onboard a bulk carrier while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) on 20 Feb 2024.

Area of concern

With the incident in SOMS, a total of six incidents were reported in the area 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 these areas.

Re-Assessment and Downgrading of 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 neutralising the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in 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 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’.

Update of ReCAAP ISC Advisory

  • With downgrading of the threat on the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the SuluCelebes seas by the PCG, ReCAAP ISC have updated its Advisory for ships to “exercise vigilance & adopt necessary preventive measures while transiting the area”.
  • For ships transiting the area, the ship masters and crew are strongly encouraged to exercise extra vigilance and report all incidents immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.

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