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IMB notes concern over small tanker attacks in SE Asia

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 Pottengal Mukundan.

Pottengal Mukundan.

London, 29 October 2014 – While pirate attacks on the world’s seas have fallen for the third consecutive  year, small tanker hijacks by armed gangs are escalating in Southeast Asia, reveals the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in its latest piracy report.

IMB’s 2014 third quarter global piracy report notes a total of 178 incidents so far this year, down from 352 for same period in 2011. In the first nine months of 2014, pirates killed three crew, kidnapped five from their vessels and took 369 seafarers hostage. A total of 17 vessels were hijacked, 124 were boarded and 10 were fired upon. There were 27 further reports of attempted attacks.

“It’s encouraging to see the huge decrease in maritime piracy and armed robbery over the last few years, thanks mainly to international navies deterring pirates off East Africa, and improved onboard security, ” said  IMB Director, Pottengal Mukundan. “However, there has been a worrying new rise in attacks against small coastal tankers in Southeast Asia. We advise small tankers in particular to remain vigilant in these waters and report all attacks and suspicious small craft to the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre.”


Oil thieves
IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre says gangs of thieves armed with knives and guns are making Southeast
Asian waters increasingly dangerous for small tankers carrying products such as gasoil or marine diesel oil.
Boarding the ship at sea, pirates hold the crew hostage for a short time while they unload all or part of the
cargo, which they then use, or sell locally. Of the six vessels hijacked worldwide in the third quarter of 2014,
five were in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia recorded 72 incidents between January and September, including 67 armed robberies and five
hijackings. In two separate hijackings off Pulau Bintan in September, 26 crew were taken hostage.
Elsewhere in Indonesia 59 vessels were boarded and there were eight attempted attacks. Waters off Pulau
Bintan saw more attacks than any other area in the world, with 27 incidents reported. The incidents were
low level thefts or attempted thefts from vessels at anchor or berthed. The report commends the efforts
taken by the Indonesian Marine Police in addressing the problem areas.

Somalia’s forgotten hostages

With just 10 incidents reported so far in Somalia this year, there is a risk that international attention will turn
away from the 40 hostages still being held for ransom by suspected Somali pirates.
“Some of those crewmembers have been held captive there for more than four years now, with fading hopes
of immediate release, ” said Mr Mukundan, adding that seafarers should not underestimate the continuing
threat of Somali piracy.

The number of incidents reported in Nigeria has dropped noticeably, down to 13 in the first nine months of
2014, from 29 in the same period last year. Elsewhere in the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana recorded four incidents
in 2014 compared with no incidents in 2013. This includes the hijacking of two product tankers – and theft
of their cargoes – and a fishing vessel and the taking hostage of 86 crew members.

IMB Piracy Reporting Centre
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre is the world’s only independent office to receive reports of pirate attacks
24-hours-a-day from across the globe. IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual,
attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre. This first
step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle
piracy. Transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organization can act as a
catalyst to achieve this goal.
IMB offers the latest piracy reports free of charge. To request a PDF version of the report by email, please
visit: http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/request-piracy-report

Latest attacks may also be viewed on the IMB Live Piracy Map at: http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-map

About The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
ICC is the world business organization, whose fundamental mission is to promote open trade and
investment and help business meet the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly integrated world

With interests spanning every sector of private enterprise, ICC’s global network comprises over 6 million
companies, chambers of commerce and business associations in more than 130 countries. ICC members
work through national committees in their countries to address business concerns and convey ICC views to
their respective governments.

ICC conveys international business views and priorities through active engagement with the United Nations,
the World Trade Organization, the G20 and other intergovernmental forums.
Close to 3, 000 experts drawn from ICC member companies feed their knowledge and experience into
crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues.

Viewers can log on herebelow and read the full report:

2014 Q3 IMB Piracy Report ABRDGED

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