More piracy, armed robbery cases in Asian seas last year

Coast Guard ships sailing just off the shore of Sentosa Island.
Coast Guard ships sailing just off the shore of Sentosa Island. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the seas of Asia has increased from 187 to 200, or 7 per cent, from 2014 to 2015, according to an annual report by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC).

The report also revealed that the number of incidents has been rising since a 2012 low of 133. However, the ReCAAP ISC governing council noted in a meeting held in Singapore from March 15 to 17 that the overall situation in Asia was headed for improvement with the efforts of regional enforcement agencies.

ReCAAP, currently with 20 member states including Singapore and some non-Asian countries such as the United States and Britain, came into force in 2006 with the aim to enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia.

Singapore has pledged S$1.6 million for the 2016 financial year to support the work of the ReCAAP ISC, said the centre in a statement. The centre keeps track of incidents and coordinates anti-piracy initiatives. Singapore will host the centre until at least 2017.