Esscom needs own aircraft, says air operations chief

Sabah

By KRISTY INUS

KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) needs its own aircraft to strengthen air patrols, especially within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone).

Esscom Air Operations chief of staff Brig Gen Ayub Khan Mohd Khan said having air assets was vital to ensure monitoring by air could be carried out more effectively to curb cross-border crimes in hot spots and routes used as staging points by cross-border criminals.

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Source: thestar.com.my

The hidden face of the war in Cabo Delgado

By Centro para Democracie e Desenvolvimento (CDD)

The establishment of the terrorist groups al-Shabab and the Islamic State with claims to establish the Islamic Law, the corporate interests of the oil industry and the lobby of Erik Prince, a former operative of the American military elite, now at the head of a private business proposal to pacify Cabo Delgado, are considered so far by academics, press and the civil society as the motivations explaining the armed insurgency in the potentially richest province of Mozambique.

By far, heavy drug trafficking and the illegal extraction of resources are framed in the equation. However, as documented by international reports and frequent police seizures, the coast of Cabo Delgado has been an important drug corridor in East Africa since the 1990s, a position recently expanded after Tanzania and Kenya repressed the trafficking networks, pushing them into Mozambican waters.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

Pirates of the Bay of Campeche: Amateurs at work

By

The first thing to realize when considering any aspect of lawlessness in Mexico, including in Mexican and adjacent waters, is that Mexico is a thoroughly corrupt country.

The corruption is historic, endemic and permeates every aspect of Mexican life. This corruption is directly responsible for the lawlessness that has allowed criminal gangs of all stripes to take over daily life in Mexico, and now they have extended their range to offshore oil installations.

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Source: workboat.com

PNG police arrest piracy suspects

PNG media reports that on Friday 31st July, three suspected ‘pirates’ were arrested after a failed attempt to rob a vessel in Milne Bay.

Following a tip off to police that a ship approacking the Kanakope Passage was to be boarded by robbers, a number of officers were deployed. When they reached the scene, the suspects were already onboard, attempting to rob the ship’s crew.

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Eagle Bulk Reports the Successful Resolution of Security Incident Onboard Vessel

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE) (“Eagle Bulk” or the “Company”), one of the world’s largest owner-operators within the Supramax / Ultramax Drybulk segment, today reported that it has successfully resolved a security incident on board the vessel M/V Jaeger involving an armed security guard.

On July 21, 2020, M/V Jaeger embarked three security guards in the Indian Ocean before sailing towards the Red Sea, as the Company has done for all transits through the High Risk Area (HRA) over the past 10+ years, in accordance with industry best practices. Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel’s Captain as is normal protocol, and then took control of and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation. While the guard discharged his weapon on board the vessel, at no time did he directly threaten or harm any of the crewmembers. The remaining two guards did not participate in this action. Unbeknownst to the Company, there was an employment dispute between the guard and his employer, and he had not been paid for several months.

Eagle Bulk, in coordination with maritime security experts, worked to deescalate the situation and after a period of approximately three days, the guard surrendered his weapon and allowed the ship to continue on its original course.  Relevant authorities were kept appraised throughout the incident, and the guard was disembarked last night.

The Company maintained regular contact with the Captain throughout this event, and V Ships, the vessel’s crewing manager, also maintained an active dialogue with the crew’s families to keep them updated. Eagle Bulk and V Ships’ primary concern was the safety of the crew, and as a point of clarity, neither company was a party to the employment dispute. Eagle Bulk expresses its appreciation for the professionalism shown by the vessel’s Captain and crew throughout this ordeal. The Company is very grateful for the efforts of its crew, the V Ships team, and our partners who worked around the clock over the past 10 days to ensure a safe and successful resolution.

Due to the sensitive nature of the incident the Company will not be releasing any more information at this time.

About Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (“Eagle” or the “Company”) is a US-based fully integrated shipowner-operator providing global transportation solutions to a diverse group of customers including miners, producers, traders, and end users. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with offices in Singapore and Copenhagen, Eagle focuses exclusively on the versatile mid-size drybulk vessel segment and owns one of the largest fleets of Supramax / Ultramax vessels in the world. The Company performs all management services in-house (including: strategic, commercial, operational, technical, and administrative) and employs an active management approach to fleet trading with the objective of optimizing revenue performance and maximizing earnings on a risk-managed basis. For further information, please visit our website: www.eagleships.com.

Source: ir.eagleships.com

Amid a Pandemic, the Jolly Roger Flies High

Asia, West Africa and the Americas experience upticks in naval gang attacks as the coronavirus pandemic stirs fears of increasing piracy.

By Kevin Drew

Late at night in the Singapore Strait, the five men quietly pulled their small speedboat alongside the bulk cargo vessel Vega Aquarius and climbed aboard the much larger ship. The men, armed with knives, were noticed by an on-duty crewman while they were on the stern of the deck.

The men rushed the crewman, who managed to escape after his cell phone was seized. Alarms were raised throughout the ship, deck lights came on and the ship’s full crew was mustered. A ship-wide search failed to find the thieves but revealed that two sets of breathing apparatus were stolen. The attacked seaman sustained minor head injuries.

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Source: usnews.com

Call grows to flag Mexico’s Gulf as high-risk

By Rebecca Conan

Mexico’s Campeche sound should be declared a high-risk area by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amid rising numbers of armed attacks on oil and natural gas vessels and platforms, maritime experts say.

“One of the main reasons for the increase in these attacks is weak ocean governance and the non-existence of maritime security policy,” Adriana Avila, academic at the World Maritime University, said in presenting her research today on the resurgence of organized crime in the Gulf of Mexico.

Avila, with Dimitrios Dalaklis, documented 14 cases of armed attacks against vessels or marine platforms during the first four months of 2020, with just three of those reported to international maritime agencies.

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Source: argusmedia.com

Analysts: Abu Sayyaf Likely to Resume Kidnappings for Ransom

Eko Widianto

Cash-strapped and under pressure from security forces, Abu Sayyaf is likely to pick up its piracy and kidnapping in coming months, security experts told a recent online forum.

Five Indonesians, including a minor, are being held by Abu Sayyaf, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said, but there have been no new kidnappings since January, according to authorities.

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Source: benarnews.org

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre Holds Dialogue with Shipping Industry

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre Holds Dialogue with Shipping Industry to Strengthen Maritime Situation Awareness and Deepen Cooperation in Fight against Piracy and Sea Robbery in Asia

Dialogue comes on the back of almost two-fold increase in incidents of piracy and sea robbery from January to June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) today held a virtual dialogue with representatives of shipping associations and companies based in Singapore and Malaysia.

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) today held a virtual dialogue with representatives of shipping associations and companies based in Singapore and Malaysia. During the dialogue, ReCAAP ISC presented the Half-Yearly Report 2020 (January to June) during which a total of 51 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia. Following the presentation, the participants had discussions on two main areas of concern; the increase of incidents in the Singapore Strait and the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and off Eastern Sabah. They exchanged their assessment of the situation and their views on how to address these incidents. The participants of the shipping industry also provided views on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the industry, particularly safety measures against piracy and sea robbery incidents.

“As a provider of timely and accurate information, ReCAAP ISC is making efforts in understanding the challenges the shipping industry is facing—particularly in this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic—and incorporating their views in our activities,” said Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC. “With regard to COVID-19, what we are hearing during the dialogue is that the pandemic has posed severe challenges to the shipping industry, particularly on the well-being of the seafarers. Despite these challenges, we ask the shipping industry to continue to uphold vigilance and the enforcement agencies to enhance patrol and law enforcement particularly in the areas of concern.,” concluded Mr. Masafumi Kuroki.

The organisations represented at the dialogue included the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), the Sarawak & Sabah Shipowners’ Association (SSSA), the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Association (FASA), BP Shipping, NYK Ship Management, Thome Group, Teekay Tankers, and Anglo Eastern Ship Management.

Source: recaap.org

Offshore Supply Vessel Attacked off the Coast of Mexico

An offshore supply vessel has reportedly been attached in the waters near the Mexican state of Veracruz. This latest attack highlights the increasing dangers for seafarers in the Bay of Campeche area of the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Dryad Global is reported that on July 24 the Mexican-flagged offshore supply vessel the Natalie was boarded. The incident took place overnight with the vessel be boarded under the cover of darkness. At the time of the attack, the supply vessel was approximately 12 nautical miles northeast of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. The Natalie is believed to be currently under the management of Cuxhavener Schiffahrtskontor (CSK) GmbH & Co., a shipping and port agency based in Cuxhaven, Germany.

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Source: maritime-executive.com