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ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre meets Philippine Coast Guard

THE anti-piracy ReCP Information Sharing Centre and Philippine Coast Guard convened a meeting with regional maritime authorities, the shipping industry and diplomatic community to assess the evolution of piracy and sea robbery in Asia

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre meets Philippine Coast Guard

THE anti-piracy ReCP Information Sharing Centre and Philippine Coast Guard convened a meeting with regional maritime authorities, the shipping industry and diplomatic community to assess the evolution of piracy and sea robbery in Asia

01 January 2020 - 19:00

THE anti-piracy ReCP Information Sharing Centre and Philippine Coast Guard convened a meeting with regional maritime authorities, the shipping industry and diplomatic community to assess the evolution of piracy and sea robbery in Asia.

Maritime law enforcement and regulatory agencies from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam as well as members from the shipping industry and diplomatic community began a two-day meeting.



Speaking to the group, Philippines National Intelligence Coordinating Council director general Alex Monteagudo said keeping the sea lanes safe and secure was the aim of gathering.



The meeting took stock of the evolving situation in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters of Eastern Sabah, which has seen 30 incidents of abduction of crew (19 actual and 11 attempted) between March 2016 to November 2019, with the two most recent incidents occurring in June and September 2019.



The meeting will also examine the evolving nature of piracy and sea robbery, using the Sulu Sea as a case study, where most of the incidents of the abduction of crew for ransom were claimed by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), an Islamic extremist group based in southern Philippines.



'The maritime safety and security situation in the Sulu-Celebes Seas is dynamic and evolving. While the stakeholders have made much effort to address the threats, more can be done, especially in examining the underlying causes driving the incidents of abduction of crew for ransom claimed by the Abu Sayyaf Group,' said Admiral Joel Garcia, commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard.



'This meeting is hence timely as it presents an opportunity to raise the awareness and share perspectives on the emergent nexus between maritime terrorism and piracy and armed robbery against ships. This is an area I encourage ReCP ISC to further study, as it may potentially add a new complexion to piracy and sea robbery in the future,' he said.



'While the overall number of incidents of piracy and sea robbery in Asia has been decreasing, with 70 incidents from January to November 2019, we cannot afford to operate in a 'business as usual' mode,' said ReCP ISC director Masafumi Kuroki.



'The situation always has the potential to change, as new modus operandi emerge. ReCP ISC and Focal Points, the shipping industry and other stakeholders must stay vigilant and be keen to the evolving threats,' he said.


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