Piracy attacks staved off in areas of committed law enforcement

  • 7 May 2004

ICC's quarterly piracy report, released today, shows early signs that positive action taken by the Indian Coast Guard, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Philippine Coast Guard has resulted in no attacks for those areas in the first quarter of 2004.

Captain Mukundan, Director of the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) praises the efforts by authorities in those countries. “We would like to see a similar determination and commitment of law resources from law enforcement agencies in those areas where the attacks remain at high levels”, he said.

Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Malacca Straits area all continue to show an alarming rise in the number of attacks at sea. Indonesia continues to record the highest number of attacks with 21 reported incidents in the first quarter of 2004.

Piracy attacks in Nigeria are ranked second highest with 10 attacks and Bangladesh and Malacca Straits are third with eight incidents each during the same period. Attacks in Malacca Straits increased from three in the first quarter of 2003 to eight in 2004 and in Singapore Straits from zero in the first quarter of 2003 to six in 2004.

Violence against crew members continues to rise. In February, IMB reported the killing of four crew members taken hostage by pirates off the coast of Sumatra. The current report shows that 10 crew members were killed in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2004.

The total number of crew killed increased to 22 from four as compared to figures for the same period in 2003. Incidents of hijackings increased to four as compared to three last year with incidents of crew being threatened increasing to 11 from six.

The following five locations shared two thirds of the total reported incident, i.e 53 from a total of 79 reported attacks in 2004. Numbers in brackets are for the same period of 2003.

The ICC Piracy Report seeks not only to list the facts but also to analyse developments in piracy and to identify piracy-prone areas so that the crew can take preventive action.