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10 cases of piracy, armed robbery on Indian and Bangladeshi ships this year, report says

According to ReCAAP ISC, there have been 51 such incidents in Asian waters during January-June 2020, almost double from last year during the same period.

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New Delhi: There have been 10 incidents of piracy and armed robbery on ships off the coasts of India and Bangladesh so far this year, reveals a report by ReCAAP ISC, a piracy information group with 20 member countries, mostly in Asia.

The half-yearly report also notes that in 2020, crimes against ships in Asian waters have spiked to the highest in five years.

A total of 51 incidents were reported in Asia during January-June 2020, almost double from last year. This is the highest since 2015, where 114 incidents were recorded for the same period.

There were seven incidents in India and three in Bangladesh, compared to two in India and three in Bangladesh in 2019.

Of these seven incidents, five occurred when ships were anchored or at berth while two occurred at sea.

In one such instance, the Indian Coast Guard arrested nine crew members of an Indian fishing boat who were stealing from a dead vessel off the coast of Gujarat in February.

ReCAAP stands for Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia. ISC is the body’s Information Sharing Centre (ISC) launched in 2006.

Also read: Pregnant, stuck on cruise ship — crew remain trapped at the sea in the middle of Covid

Singapore Strait worst-hit region

The 51 incidents occurred in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South China Sea and Singapore Strait. The worst-hit was the Singapore Strait with 16 reported incidents and Indonesia with 13.

China has not reported a single incident this year, compared to three during the same period last year, notes the report.

Of the 51 cases, one was an attempted case of robbery, 49 were of armed robbery and two were cases of piracy.

Different kinds of ships were attacked — 39 per cent were board tankers, 25 per cent were board bulk carriers, 24 per cent were board tug boats or supply vessels, 10 per cent were board container ships and 2 per cent were fishing trawlers.

Also read: Navy sends more ships from Eastern fleet for deployment in Indian Ocean region


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