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75 incidents of sea piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asian waters in Jan to Sept 2020 Singapore based anti piracy center says

The Singapore based Re CAAP ISC has reported 75 incidents of sea piracy and armed robbery against ships (73 actual and 2 attempted) in Asian waters during Jan-Sep 2020,  an increase of 39 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. The Council noted the presentation made by the Centre on the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January to September 2020.

 Increase of incidents (robberies and petty thefts) in the Singapore Strait and in Manila Bay

The Centre highlighted the increase of incidents (robberies and petty thefts) in the Singapore Strait and in Manila Bay as well as the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah. The Council underscored that, against the increase of incidents, there is a strong need for enhanced vigilance and cooperation among all stakeholders, particularly law enforcement agencies and the shipping industry

The 14th Governing Council Meeting of the ReCAAP ISC (“the Centre”) was held on October 13 and 15th by virtual modality, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Meeting was attended by the Governors and Representatives of the 20 ReCAAP Contracting Parties including India.

Work plan for FY2020 to further strengthen the information sharing function of the Centre

The Council reviewed the implementation of the Workplan and the Budget for FY2020. A key focus of the Workplan for FY2020 is to further strengthen the information sharing function of the Centre. For this purpose, the Centre has started the Post-incident Report to track the post-incident follow-up actions taken by Coastal States such as investigation, arrest and prosecution of perpetrators; and streamlining the work process of incident verification and submission of incident reports.

The Council encouraged the Centre to continue its mission and mandate stipulated in the ReCAAP Agreement and its activities based on its Roadmap, by working together with the ReCAAP Contracting Parties, Focal Points, the maritime community and other stakeholders.

The Council encouraged the Centre to continue to use virtual modality

The Council appreciated the Centre’s efforts to conduct capacity building activities for ReCAAP Focal Points as well as engagement with the shipping industry by virtual modality. This included a Capacity Building Workshop in August and a dialogue with shipping companies and associations in July. The Council encouraged the Centre to continue to use virtual modality as much as possible during the period when physical meetings cannot be organised, due to travel restrictions and border controls.    

The Council affirmed the importance of keeping the Centre relevant in the midst of a fast-changing maritime environment. In this regard, the Council supported the activities proposed by the Centre to raise awareness and collect information of maritime terrorism and maritime cybersecurity, considering their potential impact on piracy and armed robbery against ships.

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