Rise in Southeast Asia Piracy Predicted

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday June 18, 2014

After a number of pirate attacks on tankers in Southeast Asia, some are predicting an increase in such incidents, international news agency AFP reports.

"Everybody is concerned about these latest attacks because they know it will worsen," said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

"It will become rampant again and you will have a hard time stopping it.

"That's how Somalia got started."

After a campaign of increased enforcement about five years ago reduced piracy in the Malacca Strait, a rise in oil and other cargo moving through the high-traffic channel seems to be drawing criminal groups to the area again.

Pirate attacks in Southeast Asia rose from 46 in 2009 to 128 last year and are on a similar pace this year, according to IMB data.

"Maritime crime has always been an issue in the region, but we are seeing an increase in hijackings for cargo," said David Rider, editor of the Maritime Security Review.

"The black market for marine gas oil is extremely lucrative."

The IMB is calling for regional authorities to provide more naval patrols and for vessels to post anti-piracy watches around the clock.

Maritime operations firm Dryad Maritime recently warned clients to protect data about their vessels' movements and cargo to discourage piracy.