A piracy crackdown has reduced serious attacks in Southeast Asia, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) has revealed in its 2015 report.

According to the report, only two hijackings were reported in the region among 47 hijackings reported globally in the third quarter of this year.

The two hijackings were on a small product tanker in the Straits of Malacca and a fishing vessel 40-miles west of Pulau Langkawi.

In some cases, the members of product tanker hijacking gangs were arrested and prosecuted by the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities.

IMB director P Mukundan said: “The robust actions taken particularly by the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities, including the arrest of one of the alleged masterminds, is precisely the type of deterrent required.”

The year witnessed 154 vessels boarded, 21 attempted attacks and 15 vessels hijacked with a total of 226 crew taken hostage, 14 assaulted, 13 injured, ten kidnapped and one killed.

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The yearly report recorded a total of 190 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships with Indonesia reporting the maximum number of incidents amounting to 86 reports, followed by Vietnam with 19 reports.

IMB anticipates the real number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea to be considerably higher compared to one incident of an attack was reported for the last quarter.

Piracy hotspots, Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, reported no attacks this year.

“The robust actions taken particularly by the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities, is precisely the type of deterrent required.”

IMB says the positive development reflects the combined efforts of navies in the region, along with greater compliance with the Best Management Practices guidelines against Somali piracy, the employment of private security contractors and a stabilising government.

However, the report urges vessels to maintain vigilance, ashore Somalia, with the threat of piracy not eliminated completely.

A report by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) IMB revealed earlier this year that 55% of total piracy and armed robbery incidents reported since January took place in South East Asia.

On an average, every two weeks a small coastal tanker is hijacked by pirates in South East Asia.

Image: A large boat, on the sea. Photo: courtesy of IMB