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Singapore Strait armed robberies rise in first half of 2022
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan Jul 20 2022 Shipping News

Singapore Strait armed robberies rise in first half of 2022

The number of armed robbery incidents in the Singapore Strait continued to rise in the first half of 2022 with 27 reports of vessel boardings.

Releasing its half year report on Wednesday 13 July the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) said there were a total of 42 incidents of armed robbery in Asian waters from January to June 2022 and 11% increase over the 38 incidents reported in the same period in 2021.

Of the 42 incidents reported to ReCAAP in the first half of the year some 64% were in the busy sealane of the Singapore Strait.

Krishnaswamy Natarajan, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC, explained that the number of incidents should be seen in context of the volume trade in the Singapore Strait with around 1,000 vessels transiting the waterway daily.

Of the 27 incidents in the Singapore Strait 19 occurred in the eastbound lane close to the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan.

The majority of the incidents, 23, involved bulk carriers and tankers, while three involved tugs and barges, and one an offshore supply vessel towing an oil rig. In nine of the incidents the perpetrators were reported to be armed, however, there was only one report of a physical attack on crew member where a seafarer pushed to the floor and tied up in the engine room.

The role of the industry in being vigilant against attacks and reporting incidents, even if nothing was stolen was highlighted by ReCAAP. Earlier in the day ReCAAP held a dialogues session with the shipping industry in Singapore.