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Piracy on the rise off Bangladesh coast and South China Sea

 Chittagong port and its outer anchorage areas and Kutubdia islands off Bangladesh coast have reported eleven incidents of attempted armed sea piracy of ships passing through the area during the just concluded year 2017 in the Asian continent.

The Annual Report of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia released the ninth nautical forum held at Singapore recently  said the Manila and Batangas Ports and their Outer anchorages in Philippines reported the largest number of incidents in the continent. As many as 17 incidents of piracy attacks were reported from ships passing that region last year.

The other dark spots in Asia include South China Sea (12 incidents) and Malacca Straits and Singapore ( nine Incidents) are identified in the annual report released in the Nautical Forum organized by Recaap ISC, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Shipping Association. The forum saw more than 150 participants from shipping companies, industry associations, government regulatory agencies, diplomatic missions as well as academic institutions.

The other areas of concern in the Asian continent include the continued occurrence of abduction of ship crew in the Sulu Celebes seas and hijacking of ship for theft of oil cargo.

The Ports and Anchorages in India, Malaysia and Vietnam saw a decline in number of incidents during the year compared to 2016. In terms of the severity level of incidents, there was a decline in the number of most severe incidents in 2017 compared to the past three years 2014-16.

A total number of 101 incidents comprising 78 actual incidents and 12 attempted incidents were reported in 2017 compared to 85 incidents in 2016. Majority of the incidents were armed robbery against ships while 16 per cent of them were piracy incidents,

The report said while the number of incidents in 2017, continue to be among the lowest in the past decade, the increase that occurred over the previous year is a reminder that there is no room for complacency in the fight against piracy and armed robbery against ships. It also underscored the need for enhanced vigilance among the stakeholders


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