Asia piracy incidents hit five-year low…but there’s a caveat

ReCAAP released its February report last week and the numbers make for interesting reading. According to the organization, there were 11 reported cases of piracy and armed robbery against merchant ships in February, down from 14 cases reported in the corresponding period in 2014.

However, while those figures would initially seem cause for celebration, a recent article in Lloyd’s List suggested shipping organization BIMCO believes that under-reporting is a huge issue in the region and it’s hard to argue against that. Western PMSCs have flocked to Southeast Asia in recent months as piracy reports have picked up there and fallen elsewhere in the world. The issue is, of course, that most countries in the region do not permit armed guards in their waters, rather like many West African states. Many whispered voices in the region suggest that PMSCs are not particularly welcome.

At the same time, incidents of hijacking for cargo theft remain worryingly constant, despite the hard work of the region’s navies. The more things change…

 

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