PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS

REPORT FOR THE PERIOD

1 January - 30 September 2016


  

    


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PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY PRONE AREAS AND WARNINGS

 

Mariners are warned to be extra cautious and to take necessary precautionary measures when transiting the following areas:

SOUTH EAST ASIA AND INDIAN SUB CONTINENT

Bangladesh: Robbers usually target ships preparing to anchor. Most attacks reported at Chittagong anchorages and approaches. However, attacks in Bangladesh have fallen significantly over the past few years because of the efforts by the Bangladesh Authorities.

China: Tianjin/Caofeidian - Incidents mostly at anchorage area.

India: Sikka and Kandla : Incidents reported at port and anchorage areas.

Indonesia: Tanjung Priok - Jakarta, off Bintan Island, Dumai, off Karimun Island, Nipah, Batu Ampar/Batam, Samarinda and Belawan anchorage and surrounding waters. Pirates / robbers normally armed with guns / knives and / or machetes. Generally be vigilant in other areas. Many attacks may have gone unreported. Pirates / robbers normally attack vessels during the night. When spotted and alarm sounded, the pirates / robbers usually escape without confronting the crew.

Recent meetings and continued dialog between the Indonesian Marine Police (IMP) and the IMB PRC resulted in positive actions by the Indonesian Authorities which had so far brought incidents to come down.

The Indonesian Marine Police have advised all ships intending to anchor to do so at / near the following areas where Indonesian Marine Police will conduct patrols for greater protection.

1.  Belawan: 03:55.00N - 098:45.30E

2.   Dumai: 01:42.00N-101:28.00E

3.  Nipah: 01:07.30N-103:37.00E

4.   Tanjung Priok: 06:00.30S-106:54.00E

5.   Gresik: 07:09.00S-112:40.00E

6.   Taboneo: 04:41.30S-114:28.00E

7.   Adang bay: 01:40.00S-116:40.00E

8.  Muara Berau: 00:17.00S-117:36.00E

9.   Muara Jawa: 01:09.00S-117:13.00E

10.  Balikpapan: 01:22.00S-116:53.00E

11.  Bintan Island: 01:21.00N-104:29.00E

Ships are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures and report all attacks and suspicious sightings to the local authorities and IMB PRC. The IMB PRC will also liaise with the local authorities to render necessary assistance.

 

 

SOUTH EAST ASIA AND INDIAN SUB CONTINENT
 
Bangladesh: Robbers usually target ships preparing to anchor. Most attacks reported at Chittagong anchorages and approaches. Attacks in Bangladesh have fallen significantly over the past few years because of the efforts by the Bangladesh Authorities.
 
China: Tianjin/Caofeidian – New area has emerged. Incidents mostly at anchorage area.
 
India: Sikka and Kandla – Incidents reported at port and anchorage areas.
 
Indonesia: Tanjung Priok – Jakarta, off Bintan Island, Dumai, off Karimun Island, Nipah, Pulau Takong Kecil and Belawan anchorage and surrounding waters. Pirates / robbers normally armed with guns / knives and / or machetes. Generally be vigilant in other areas. Many attacks may have gone unreported. Pirates / robbers normally attack vessel during the night. When spotted and alarm sounded, the pirates / robbers usually escape without confronting the crew.
 
Recent meetings and continued dialog between the Indonesian Marine Police (IMP) and the IMB PRC resulted in positive actions by the Indonesian Authorities which has so far resulted in a reduction of incidents.
 
The Indonesian Marine Police have advised all ships intending to anchor to do so at / near the following areas where Indonesian Marine Police will conduct patrols for greater protection.
 
1. Belawan: 03:55.00N-098:45.30E
2. Dumai: 01:42.00N-101:28.00E
3. Nipah: 01:07.30N-103:37.00E
4. Tanjung Priok: 06:00.30S-106:54.00E
5. Gresik: 07:09.00S-112:40.00E
6. Taboneo: 04:41.30S-114:28.00E
7. Adang bay: 01:40.00S-116:40.00E
8. Muara Berau: 00:17.00S-117:36.00E
9. Muara Jawa: 01:09.00S-117:13.00E
10. Balikpapan: 01:22.00S-116:53.00E
11. Bintan Island: 01:21.00N-104:29.00E

 

Ships are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures and report all attacks and suspicious sightings to the local authorities and IMB PRC. The IMB PRC will also liaise with the local authorities to render necessary assistance.

 

Malacca Straits: Although the number of attacks have dropped substantially due to the increase and aggressive patrols by the littoral states authorities since July 2005, ships are advised to continue maintaining strict anti-piracy / robbery watches when transiting the Straits. Currently, there are no indications as to how long these patrols will continue or reduce. 

Singapore Straits: Vessels are advised to remain vigilant and to continue maintaining adequate anti-piracy / robbery watch and measures. Pirates / robbers attack ships while underway or while at anchor especially during the night. 

South China Sea: Although attacks have dropped significantly in the vicinity off Tioman / off Pulau Aur / off Anambas / Natuna / Mangkai islands / Subi Besar / Merundung areas,  vessels

are advised to continue to remain vigilant. In the past, a number of hijackings of small product tankers occurred off the coast of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and in the South China Sea area. This trend started in April 2014. The arrests of some of the criminals by local Authorities in Malaysia and Indonesia has led to a reduction in such hijackings, with the last successful hijacking in August 2015. The IMB PRC continues to monitor the situation. 

Vietnam: Vung Tau – Increased in attacks especially at anchorages.


Malacca Straits: Although the number of attacks have dropped substantially due to the increased and aggressive patrols by the littoral states authorities since July 2005, ships are advised to continue maintaining strict anti-piracy / robbery watches when transiting the Straits. Currently, there are no indications as to how long these patrols will continue for.

Malaysia: Off Sabah - Militant activities resulting in a number of tugs / barges / fishing boats being attacked and crews kidnapped.

Singapore Straits: Vessels are advised to remain vigilant and to continue maintaining adequate anti-piracy / robbery watch and measures. Pirates / robbers attack ships while underway or while at anchor especially during the night.

South China Sea: Although attacks have dropped significantly in the vicinity off Tioman / off Pulau Aur / off Anambas / Natuna / Mangkai islands / Subi Besar / Merundung areas, vessels are advised to continue to remain vigilant. In the past, a number of hijackings of small product tankers occurred off the coast of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and in the South China Sea area. This trend started in April 2014 but the hijackings had stopped abruptly late last year. The IMB is monitoring the situation. It has been reported that some criminals have been arrested by local Authorities both in Malaysia and in Indonesia.

Vietnam: Vung Tau: Increase in attacks especially at anchorages.


 

AFRICA AND RED SEA


Nigeria (Lagos): Pirates / robbers are often well armed, violent and have attacked, hijacked and robbed vessels / kidnapped crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters. In the past, attacks reported up to about 170nm from coast. In many past incidents, pirates hijacked the vessels for several days and ransacked the vessels stealing part cargoes usually gas oil. A number of crewmembers were also injured and kidnapped in past attacks. Generally, all waters in/off Nigeria remain risky. Vessels are advised to be vigilant, as many attacks may have gone unreported.

(Off Bayelsa/Brass/Bonny Island/Port Harcourt): Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in attacks / hijackings / kidnapping of crews off these areas. Vessels are advised to take additional measures in these high risk waters.

 

Benin (Cotonou): Although the number of attacks has dropped significantly, the area remains risky. Past attacks showed that the pirates / robbers in this area are well armed and violent and in some incidents have fired upon and hijacked ships. The pirates force Masters to sail to unknown location where ship's properties and sometimes part cargo is stolen (gas oil). Crewmembers have been injured in the past. Recent patrols by the Benin and Nigerian Authorities has resulted in a drop in the number of attacks. However, vessels are advised to continue to be vigilant and maintain strict anti-piracy / robbery watches and measures.

Togo (Lome): Attacks have dropped but the area remains a concern and risky. Pirates / robbers in the area are well armed, violent and dangerous. Attacks can occur at anchorages and off the coast and usually at night. Some attacks resulted in vessels being hijacked for several days, ransacked and part cargoes stolen (gas oil).

Gulf of Aden/Red Sea: Only one attack reported this year in the Gulf of Aden and no attacks reported in the Red Sea. This is due to increased/active military action on suspected skiffs, military land based anti-piracy operations, preventive measures (latest BMP recommendations) and increased armed guards on board ships. The IMB PRC continues to monitor the situation and warns ships to remain vigilant and adhere to the latest BMP recommendations. The threat is still present and Somali pirates usually attack ships in the northern Somali coast in the Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea in the Bab El Mandeb TSS. The pirates fire automatic weapons and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) at merchant vessels in an attempt to board and hijack them. Once the attack is successful and the vessel hijacked, they would sail the vessel towards the Somali coast and thereafter demand a ransom for the release of the vessel and crew. All vessels transiting the area are advised to take additional precautionary measures and maintain strict 24 hours visual and radar anti-piracy watch using all available means. Watch keeping crews should lookout for small suspicious boats converging to own vessel. Early sightings/detection and accurate assessment will allow Master to increase speed and take evasive manoeuvres to escape from the pirates and at the same time request for assistance from the various Authorities / Agencies including the IMB PRC. Monitor and keep clear of all small boats if possible.

Since 1 February 2009, MSCHOA (www.mschoa.org) has established the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). Strategically deployed Military assets (Naval and Air) within the area provide protection and support to merchant ships.

Masters using the IRTC are not relieved of their obligation and should continue to maintain a strict 24-hour lookout using all available means to get an early warning of an approaching threat. Some vessels have been attacked/hijacked in the corridor.

Ships/Owners are advised to register their details on the MSCHOA website www.mschoa.org and obtain further information regarding the close support protection details for ships transiting the Gulf of Aden. Ships are encouraged to conduct their passage through the IRTC in groups based on their transit speed of 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 kts.

Masters are advised to maintain a listening watch on VHF CH 16, CH 8 and CH 72 in order to hear the Maritime Advisory Calls from the warships in the area who will make general security broadcasts and in turn listen to merchant ships calling them. In addition, Masters are advised to monitor the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) broadcast and Warnings via Inmarsat C EGC Safety Net. All attempted, actual attacks and suspicious sightings reported to warships should also be reported to the IMB PRC.

Somalia: No attacks reported recently. This is due to increased / active military action on suspected skiffs, military land based anti-piracy operations, preventive measures (latest BMP recommendations) and increased armed guards on board ships. Usual modus operandi of the Somali pirates is to attack ships in the northern, eastern and southern coast of Somalia. Past attacks reaching up to off Kenya, off Tanzania, off Seychelles, off Madagascar, off Mozambique/Mozambique Channel and in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea / off Oman, Gulf of Oman and off west coast India and off western Maldives. Somali pirates are dangerous and are prepared to fire their automatic weapons and RPG at vessels in order to stop them. Pirates normally used "mother vessels" to launch attacks at very far distance from coast. These "mother vessels" are usually hijacked dhows or ocean going fishing vessels. In the past, the Somali pirates have tried to use hijacked merchant vessels to conduct piracy operations. The "mother vessel" is able to proceed very far out to sea to launch smaller boats or skiffs to attack and hijack unsuspecting passing vessels. Many past attacks had taken place more than 1,000 nm from the Somali coast (towards Indian west and south coast in the Indian Ocean). These pirates have also attacked vessels close to the coast of Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and Oman. Masters are cautioned that attempted attacks and suspicious approaches have taken place as far east as 76°E, as far south as 22°S and as far north as 26°N (just south of the Straits of Hormuz). Monitor and keep clear of all small boats, dhows and fishing vessels if possible. A 24-hour visual and radar watch must be maintained at all times while transiting these waters. Early sightings / detection and most importantly accurate assessment, keeping in mind the warnings and alerts for the area will allow Masters and PCASP to make informed decisions for evasive actions, increasing speed, requesting assistance as well as engaging the pirates. Adhere to the latest BMP recommendations.

Ivory Coast: Abidjan: Attacks dropped but remains risky.

Guinea: Conakry

The Congo: Pointe Noire

 

SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN WATERS 

Ecuador: (Guayaquil. Attacks stopped but ships advised to be vigilant.

Peru: Callao


 

REST OF THE WORLD

Arabian Sea / Off Oman / Gulf of Oman: Past attacks reported off Oman, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea where a number of vessels were attacked and hijacked. Pirates believed to be Somali pirates extending their attack areas. No recent attacks reported but be vigilant and adhere to latest BMP recommendations.

Indian Ocean / Off Seychelles / Off Madagascar / Off West Maldives: In the past, Somali pirates hijacked ocean going fishing vessels/dhows and hijacked merchant vessels to conduct piracy operations. These pirate "mother vessels" are able to sail far from Somali coast to attack passing ships. Smaller skiffs are launched from the pirate "mother vessel" to attack the merchant vessels. Pirates are heavily armed with automatic weapons and RPG. Past attacks also extend to west coast of Maldives, off west and south India and Minicoy Island. No recent attacks reported but be vigilant and adhere to latest BMP recommendations.

Reporting of incidents

Ships are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watches and report all piratical attacks (actual and attempted) and suspicious sightings to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: +60 3 2078 5763 Fax: +60 3 2078 5769 E-mail: imbkl@icc-ccs.org The Centre's 24 Hours Anti-Piracy HELPLINE is: +60 3 2031 0014

IMB Maritime Security Hotline

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has also launched a dedicated hotline for seafarers, port workers, shipping agents, shipyard personnel, brokers, stevedores, and all concerned parties to report any information that they may have seen / heard / known etc. relating to maritime crime and security including terrorism, piracy and other illegal activities.

All information received will be treated in strict confidence and will be passed on to relevant Authorities for further action. Maritime crime and security concerns us all and with your help, we can try to minimize the risks and help save lives and property.

The Maritime Security Hotline can be contacted 24 hours every day at : Tel: +60 3 2031 0014 Fax: +60 3 2078 5769 E-mail: imbsecurity@icc-ccs.org

REMEMBER: Your information may save lives. All information will be treated in strict confidence. 


Threat to seafarers remains despite piracy clampdown, IMB reports 

London and Kuala Lumpur, 31 October 2016 – Kidnapping and hostage-taking persists off the coasts of West Africa and South East Asia, despite a 20-year low in piracy on the world's seas, according to new figures from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

IMB's latest global piracy report shows that pirates armed with guns or knives took 110 seafarers hostage in the first nine months of 2016, and kidnapped 49 crew for ransom. Nigeria, a growing hotspot for violent piracy and armed robbery, accounts for 26% of all captures, followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Guinea and Ivory Coast. 

But with just 42 attacks worldwide this quarter, maritime piracy is at its lowest since 1996. IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) has recorded 141 incidents so far this year, a 25% drop from the same period in 2015. A total of 111 vessels were boarded, five were hijacked, 10 were fired at, and a further 15 attacks were thwarted. 

"We are encouraged by the efforts of national and international authorities – and the shipping industry – to keep piracy down. But clearly the threat to crew being taken hostage remains, and it is therefore necessary for shipmasters and response agencies to remain vigilant," said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, which has monitored world piracy since 1991.

 

Indonesian patrols 

The IMB report shows one factor in reducing global numbers is a huge drop in low-level incidents off Indonesia. Though Indonesia still accounts for 34 of the 110 seafarers taken hostage this year, the total number of attacks has plummeted. IMB recorded 33 attacks off Indonesia in the first nine months of 2016, down from 86 for the corresponding period in 2015. Patrols by the Indonesian Marine Police appear to be working, says IMB PRC, who will continue to monitor high-risk areas and work closely with the region's authorities. 

Vietnam has reported similar improvements, with six incidents so far in 2016 – four of them in Vung Tau – compared with 19 during the same period last year. 




Nigeria – kidnapping and armed theft 

More vessels of all types are being targeted by armed groups along Nigeria's rivers, anchorages and ports, and up to 118 nautical miles from the coast. Though many attacks are believed to go unrecorded, IMB received reports of 31 incidents in the first nine months of 2016, up from 12 in the same period last year.

In the latest of these, pirates armed with AK47 rifles attacked and boarded a general cargo ship en route from Onne (Nigeria) to Douala (Cameroon), stealing property and cash and damaging accommodation. The master activated the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), and all crew retreated into the citadel. Alerted by the ship's managers, IMB PRC requested urgent assistance from the Nigerian navy, who intercepted and boarded the ship.

But in other Nigerian attacks so far this year, 13 people have been taken hostage onboard, and 29 kidnapped for ransom. In one boarding in July, five crew were captured and the chief officer shot in the head. 

Worldwide over the past nine months, five crewmembers were assaulted, six were injured, and five threatened. 

Somalia risk remains

As for Somalia, zero incidents were recorded this quarter and just one attempted attack was recorded in the Gulf of Aden in the first nine months of 2016. But the situation ashore in Somalia, from where the pirate vessels set off, remains fragile. Mr Mukundan called on shipmasters to follow the industry's Best Management Practices and continue to remain vigilant as they sail through waters off Somalia. 

Piracy and armed robbery prone areas

The report gives details of all 141 attacks in 27 countries, and advice for mariners, including a list of particularly high-risk areas where extra caution and precautionary measures are vital.

***

For further information please contact:

Pottengal Mukundan Director, IMB Tel: +44 20 7423 6960 Email: pmukundan@icc-ccs.org


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