Latest High Seas Hijacking Raises Piracy Fears in Southeast Asia


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–The hijacking of a Thai oil tanker in the waters between Singapore and Indonesia is raising fears that piracy is escalating in an area that has become a top spot for such attacks.

“This is the third tanker in recent weeks.  It is too rampant for such a short period of time,” said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

A safety and shipping report issued earlier this year showed that the number of acts of piracy in Indonesia has increased seven-fold since 2009. Most attacks are low-level thefts, but the rise in incidents indicated the potential for more organized acts of piracy, the report said.

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