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Asia piracy hits five year high in 2020

Sea robbery and piracy-related incidents in Asia increased 17 per cent year on year to just below 100 in 2020, reports London's S&P Global Platts

07 February 2021 - 19:00
Sea robbery and piracy-related incidents in Asia increased 17 per cent year on year to just below 100 in 2020, reports London's S&P Global Platts.

The incidents coincide with the consistent threat of possible attacks by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), prompting warnings for enhanced vigilance.



Excluding the attempted ones, incidents were up 32 per cent from 2019 to a five year high, with data coming close on the heels of an attack on tankers in the Middle East.



Maritime security in Asia is heavily looked at, especially since the aftermath of the attack on tankers near the Persian Gulf late last year, which kept shipping insurance rates firm due to war risk.



'The war risk premia is holding firm for all ships moving in the region because of the prevailing threat,' said a maritime insurance executive.



A Hafnia LR1 tanker exploded after being hit by an external object on December 14 while discharging a gasoline cargo at Saudi Arabia's western port of Jeddah.



Insurance premium varies depending on the age and depreciation of a ship, but the prevailing situation won't result in a decline in rates anytime soon.



Premia is paid as an expense, which is billed after the voyage or transit is completed. Unlike freight, insurance premia are not in the public domain.



Areas seeing an increase in piracy and sea robbery in Asia includes Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore Straits, and the South China Sea.



Singapore Straits incidents typically involved bigger ships in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme.



'In view of the increase of incidents, law enforcement agencies in Asia should enhance surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators,' said Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCp) executive director Masafumi Kuroki.


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