ReCAAP: February Pirate Activity in Asia at Five-Year Low

A total of 11 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in February 2015, according to a report issued by piracy-watchdog ReCAAP ISC.

Among these, one was an incident of piracy and 10 were armed robberies against ships. There were no attempted incidents  reported in February 2015, the report said.

According to ReCAAP, compared to February figures of 2011-2014 period, the number of incidents reported in February 2015 is lowest among February stats of the five-year reporting period.

Of the 11 incidents reported in February 2015, two were Category 1 incidents, two were Category 3 incidents and seven were petty theft incidents. No Category 2 incidents were reported in February 2015.

Despite the fact that two-thirds of the total number of incidents were petty theft cases, ReCAAP voiced concern about two Category 1 incidents involving siphoning of ship fuel/oil from product tankers, Lapin on 13 Feb 15, and Phubai Pattra 1 on 20 Feb 15.

“The ReCAAP ISC is concerned about the occurrence of ship fuel/oil siphoning incidents in February 2015, and the use of dummy explosives by the perpetrators in the incident onboard Lapin, to threaten the crew and possibly, to delay the crew’s responsiveness in making timely reports of the incident.

Increased presence of enforcement agencies in the region, and sharing of investigation outcome among the enforcement agencies is key to tracking down the perpetrators, and arresting them. The ReCAAP ISC is collaborating with INTERPOL in sharing information to update its database on information related to such incidents to establish linkages and connections.”

As indicated by the piracy watchdog, vigilant and early detection of a possible boarding is the most effective deterrent, which reduces risk to the crew.

“It provides the crew an opportunity to sound the alarm, alert other ships and the coastal authorities, and undertake countermeasures and other response procedures,” ReCAAP stressed.