The hijacking of small coastal tankers by maritime pirates in the South East (SE) Asian waters is continuing to increase, averaging one attack every two weeks, a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed.
The latest global report revealed that five small tankers were hijacked in SE Asia in this second quarter alone, bringing the total number of vessels hijacked globally this year to 13.
According to the report, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) received a total of 134 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the first six months of this year compared to 116 reports last year.
A total 106 vessels were boarded by the pirates, with reports of 13 hijackings and 15 attempted attacks worldwide
The report also revealed that 250 crew members were taken hostage, 14 assaulted, ten kidnapped, nine injured and one killed this year.
More than a third of incidents reported to the PRC occurred off the coast of Indonesia, and most of them were related to thefts from vessels, according to the report.
In the second quarter of this year, the number of incidents off Bangladesh and Chittagong rose to ten compared to only one in the first quarter. These attacks were related to armed robberies from vessels.
11 incidents were reported off Nigeria in the first half of 2015, with no incidents reported in June. However, ten crew kidnappings in three separate attacks were reported.
Off the coast of Somalia, no reports were received in the second quarter of this year, according to the IMB report.
IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said: "Information sharing and coordinated action between concerned coastal states is crucial in responding to this threat."
Image: Maritime piracy report reveals continued SE Asian attacks against small tankers. Photo: courtesy of ICC-CCS.