Piracy, other high seas crimes rise in Asia: report

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, piracy and other crimes have surged in Asian waters in the first seven months of the year, many committed by a Philippines-based Islamist group linked to Islamic State, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Especially hard hit have been the Sulu Sea and coastal areas of the southern Philippines, said the report by Babel Street, an open source data analysis company based in Virginia.

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Source: hellenicshippingnews.com

New PH Navy assets to beef up capabilities vs. lawless elements

By Priam Nepomuceno

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday said the arrival of new patrol assets will greatly enhance its patrol capabilities and prevent terrorists and other criminals from sneaking in.

“This situation will be best addressed through the modernization of our assets that we are now continuously pursuing, particularly the acquisition of the Philippine Fleet’s Fast Attack Interdiction Craft (FAIC) project and the Philippine Marine Corps’ Combat Raid and Interdiction Boats as well as its Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC),” PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said.

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Source: pna.gov.ph

ESSZone curfew extended until September 17th


KOTA KINABALU-The confinement order in the waters of seven districts in the eastern zone of Sabah (ESSZone) which ended at 6 pm this day was extended until September 17.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said orders that prohibit the community in the area are involved out of the house or enter the waters of Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran to take effect from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.

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Source: sinarharian.com.my

Incident Alert Incidents at Batangas Anchorage, Philippines

Within an interval of seven days, two incidents of armed robbery against ships occurred while they were berthed/anchored in Batangas, Philippines. In both incidents, the perpetrators demonstrated violence toward crew with a knife.

In the first incident on 14 Aug at 1000 hrs, the perpetrator entered the cabin of the general steward, threatened him by pointing a long knife at him and stole his personal belongings. The perpetrator left the ship immediately via the mooring lines in a small unmarked blue motor banca stationed at the astern of the ship.

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Source: recaap.org

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Report: Philippines nab Abu Sayyaf leader linked to cross-border abductions in Sabah


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Notorious Abu Sayyaf sub-commander “Idang” Susukan who is wanted by both Malaysia and the Philippines has been arrested in Davao City on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

Philippines police caught Idang yesterday at the house of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari, The Star reported.

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Source: malaymail.com

ReCAAP issues July report on piracy and maritime crime in SE Asia

In July 2020, six incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. Of the six incidents, one was a piracy incident and five were armed robbery against ships.

There was no report of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, Malaysia in July 2020. However, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious concern as demonstrated by the Warning issued by the ReCAAP ISC on 2 July that five Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were planning to conduct abduction of crew from ships passing by Tawi-Tawi and Sabah waters.

The ReCAAP ISC is also concerned about the continued occurrence of incidents on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. Three incidents were reported in July 2020. With these, a total of 19 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait during January-July 2020 comprising 15 incidents occurred in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), two incidents in the precautionary area, one incident in the westbound lane of the TSS and one incident just outside (south) of the TSS.

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Source: recaap.org

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PRO-9 activates task force to combat organized crime groups

By Leah Agonoy

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – The Police Regional Office (PRO-9) has activated “Task Force Pink Panther” to boost security in “risk areas” and address threat groups in the region. Brig. Gen. Jesus Cambay Jr., PRO-9 director, who led the activation of the task force Monday, said the unit will consist of five task groups to secure the region’s coastlines.

In an interview Tuesday, Cambay said the task force will consist of policemen, soldiers, and personnel from other line agencies, especially those engaged in law enforcement, like the coast guard, and maritime police.

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Source: pna.gov.ph

Esscom needs own aircraft, says air operations chief



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

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

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