ABS and MPA to collaborate on maritime R&D
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How to beat the pirates
As the region becomes the global hotspot for piracy Sam Chambers identifies how best to combat the scourge
Piracy around the Malacca Straits is very much back in the news, with the United Nations saying the region has now surpassed West and East Africa to become the global hotspot for piracy. In particular, small product tankers have been targeted by robbers in the past three months. In the final week of June alone there were five reported incidents.
Piracy in Southeast Asia is nothing new. What is new, however, is the jump in numbers and the very specific targeting of certain types of ships.
This spike in hijacking and cargo theft has been brought about by the black market demand for marine fuel oil in Southeast Asia, says Steve McKenzie, a senior analyst at the UK firm, Dryad Maritime. There have been crimes similar to these for many years, the majority of which were from bunker barges and small tankers with only small amounts of fuel being stolen. A large number of these incidents went unreported, however, over the last three or four years reporting of these incidents has increased as the criminals have targeted larger vessels. The common denominator for all of these hijackings and cargo theft incidents this year has been Singapore. All the vessels that have been targeted had prior to being boarded called at Singapore, McKenzie notes.
“The stealing of oil products in the region is targeted product theft, which results in the stolen cargo being sold on the black market,” says Gerry Northwood, the coo of security firm, GoAGT.
Recent successful hijacks of tankers whilst underway, coupled with a rise in the average number of pirates involved in a single attack may suggest a partial evolution in the typical trends of the industry, notes Harry Pearce, an intelligence analyst at Ambrey Risk
“We assess that these crimes will continu ... More>>