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Noticias de interés

Threat: Theft from vessels in Manila and Batangas

Fecha de la noticias: 13/02/2018 • Publicada: 13/02/2018 

Background

Thieves have been targeting vessels in the ports of Manila and Batangas.

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia (ReCAAP) recorded 17 incidents in 2017, the highest number in over ten years.

Perpetrators generally operate at night using small craft to come alongside vessels at anchor and at berth.

There are several reports of access being gained by climbing anchor chains and clambering through hawse pipes.

In most cases perpetrators have avoided confrontations and flee when spotted.

Some intruders have been armed with knives.

Items stolen include ship stores and deck equipment that can be easily carried.

Assessment and Analysis

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has taken control of security in all the country’s ports.

The move was ordered by the government in June 2017 as part of a crackdown on the ISIS-linked jihadist Maute group.

Low-level pilfering in the ports and anchorages Manila and Batangas was not the main target but the move could nevertheless have a positive impact.

Among other things, the PCG now has authority to control the movement of all vessels in ports and harbours.

Part of its remit is to enforce a vessel identification system that aims to make it harder for unauthorised craft to operate unobserved.

The PCG meanwhile has urged ship owners and ship agents to report any security breaches as soon as they occur.

It has also stepped up coastal security patrols.

Ships visiting the ports and anchorages Manila and Batangas should remain vigilant and maintain strict watches, particularly at night.

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