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Noticias de interés

Threat: Thieves targeting ships at anchor

Fecha de la noticias: 12/02/2018 • Publicada: 12/02/2018 

Background

Thieves continue to target ships at anchor in Indonesian ports and anchorages.

Perpetrators board ships either alone or in gangs and generally operate at night. They are often armed with knives.

Although there were cases of seafarers being tied up, an analysis of attacks in 2017 showed it was rare for crew members to be assaulted.

In most cases intruders fled when confronted.

Assessment and Analysis

It is difficult to estimate how many ships have been targeted by criminals in Indonesian waters as many incidents are thought to go unreported.

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia (ReCAAP) recorded 30 attacks on shipping in Indonesian waters in 2017.

The most serious, in November, west of the Indonesian port of Singkawang, saw robbers armed with parangs target a tug towing a barge laden with palm oil.

The barge was seized and some crew members taken hostage.

The seafarers were eventually released unharmed and the barge was recovered but its cargo had been stolen.

That attack however was an exception.

Most of the incidents were opportunistic with perpetrators coming alongside ships at night and clambering aboard, sometimes climbing anchor chains.

Perpetrators typically stole ship stores taking articles that included portable compressors, mooring ropes and engine spares.

More than a quarter of the incidents took place off Tanjung Berakit, on the island of Pulau Bintan, at the eastern entrance to the Strait of Singapore.

Most of those attacks were against ships at anchor although thieves also boarded vessels while they were underway.

Indonesia’s Marine Police has been mounting extra patrols at ten designated safe anchorages, including one at Tanjung Berakit and ships are advised to use the patrolled anchorages whenever possible.

They are also advised to maintain heightened vigilance and to report all attacks and any suspicious activity.

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