High Levels of Piracy Continue in Southeast Asia

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Warnings of an increasing threat from Southeast Asia piracy show that the area continues to experience the highest number of maritime crime incidents in 2014 when compared to other traditional piracy hot spots. 

The warning from Dryad Maritime comes in the wake of the most recent hijack of the motor tanker, Moresby 9, off the Anambas Islands on 4th July, when pirates boarded the vessel taking the crew hostage before stealing part of the 2200 tonne cargo of Marine Gas Oil (MGO). The location of the vessel is still unknown.

This year alone has seen 12 reported cases of vessels being boarded underway and a further 19 reports of robberies, attempted robberies or suspicious approaches in the anchorages to the east of the Singapore Strait. Ai Maru became the fifth product tanker to be hijacked since April 2014 when it was attacked at the end of last month.

According to public policy think-tank the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability (NISS), the increase in piracy in Southeast Asia is attributed to a number of causes. These include; over-fishing, poor maritime regulation, organised crime syndicates, widespread poverty and politically motivated groups.

Better news comes in the Horn of Africa section of Dryad’s quarterly figures, where the company welcomes the release of the remaining 11 crew members from  Albedo and praises those involved in the release of the seafarers and support of their families.

After almost four years in captivity and having seen other crew members released in 2012, the remaining crew endured extended misery that included the sinking of their ship, as well as the death and disappearance of other crew members.