Report From ReCAAP ISC Hints At Declining Armed Robbery Incidents

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ReCAAP ISC published its 1st quarter piracy report, informing that during January – March 2024, a total of 26 incidents of Armed Robbery Against Ships (ARAS) were reported in Asia. The 1Q 2024 statistics were released in the Anti-Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2024.

Number Of Incidents 

According to the report, of the 26 incidents, 21 were actual incidents and five were attempted incidents. There was a 4% decrease in the number of incidents during January-March 2024 compared to 27 incidents (all actual incidents) reported during January-March 2023. 

Comparing Q1 in 2024 and 2023, there has been a decrease in the number of incidents reported [26 incidents versus 27 incidents], whereas there has been an increase in the severity level of incidents. However, compared to the immediately preceding quarter (Q4 of 2023), there has been a 63% increase in the number of incidents reported during January-March 2024 [26 incidents versus 16 incidents].

Comparing The Incidents 

The total number of incidents reported during January-March 2024 has decreased compared to January-March 2023, in the following locations:

  • In the Philippines, one incident was reported compared to two incidents.
  • In the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), 11 incidents were reported compared to 20 incidents.

While there was an overall decrease, the following locations saw an increase in incidents during January-March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023:

  • In Bangladesh, five incidents were reported compared to no incidents.
  • In India, two incidents were reported compared to one incident.
  • In Indonesia, seven incidents were reported compared to four incidents.

Areas Of Concern

SOMS – Continued occurrence of incidents

  • A total of 11 incidents were reported in SOMS during January-March 2024. This constitutes 42% of the total number of incidents in Asia (11 of 26). However, compared to the same period of 2023 (20 incidents), there has been an improvement in the situation in the SOMS.

Sulu-Celebes Seas – Threat of abduction of crew for ransom remains

  • The situation of abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas continued to improve during January-March 2024. No such incident was reported during this period, and the last abduction of crew incident in the area occurred in January 2020. However, the threat of abduction of crew for ransom continues to remain due to the presence of remnants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Sulu and Tawi Tawi areas.

Significance Levels 

The ReCAAP ISC classifies each actual incident into one of the four categories to provide a qualitative perspective of the incidents, and defines each category by the significance (commonly known as the severity) level:

  • CAT 1 most significant incident
  • CAT 2 is moderately significant
  • CAT 3 less significant
  • CAT 4 least significant

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Source: Safety4sea