During January-October 2017, 60 incidents were reported, of which 51 were actual incidents and nine were attempts. Compared to January-October 2016, this was a nine percent decrease, and compared to the same period in 2015, it was a 67 percent decrease. ReCAAP ISC attributes the decrease to improvements at ports and anchorages in Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
While the overall situation during January-October this year has improved, there was, however, an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong), Philippines (Manila and Batangas) and on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, compared to the same period in 2016.
Nine incidents were reported in October 2017, seven actual incidents and two attempts. None of the incidents involved the abduction of crew from ships reported in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah, and none involved hijacking for oil theft. However, like earlier in the year, there was an increase in the number of incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore – four of the nine incidents in October.
The last Sulu-Celebes Sea incident reported to the ReCAAP ISC occurred on board Super Shuttle Tug 1 on March 23, and the last attempted incident occurred on board Doňa Annabel on April 18. As of October 31, 14 crewmen are still being held in captivity in the Phillipines. The Philippine authorities continue to conduct pursuit operations to rescue the abducted men and neutralize the militant group responsible.