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

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

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

Smugglers pay students, locals for tips on security forces

MMEA vessel. Image via diabgroup.com

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Smuggling syndicates are paying locals as well as students to channel information on the movement of security forces at the border.

Categorised as a non-aggressive version of a ‘tonto’ (thug), they receive RM50 a day as payment for providing information to the syndicates.

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Source: nst.com.my

Indonesia Launches Maritime Information Center to Tackle Crimes at Sea

Ronna Nirmala and Drake Long

A new maritime information center under Indonesia’s coast guard is expected to improve and speed up coordination in fighting smuggling, illegal fishing and other crimes at sea, officials said Thursday.

The Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) launched the Indonesian Maritime Information Center (IMIC) on Wednesday as part of efforts to support law enforcement at sea through exchanges of information, said Vice Adm. Aan Kurnia, the coast guard’s chief.

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Source: benarnews.org

Trilateral exercises in the Philippine Sea

HMAS Toowoomba, via Wikipedia

Australia, Japan and the US are currently conducting a trilateral passage in the Philippine Sea on the way to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in Hawaii.

An ADF Joint Task Group has joined the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Akizuki-class destroyer JS Teruzuki.

With HMA Ships Canberra, Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius taking part, the activity includes replenishment at sea, aviation operations, maritime manoeuvres and communications drills.

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Source: australiandefence.com.au

The curfew in ESSZone has been extended until August 3rd

Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The curfew order in the waters of seven districts in the East Sabah Safe Zone (ESSZone) which ended at 6pm tomorrow has been extended for two weeks until August 3, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Zaini Jass.

He said following the extension, residents were asked to be indoors and were not allowed to enter the waters between 6pm and 6am during the period.

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Source: bharian.com.my

MarsecNews: I should know better than to use a Western source on a Malaysian story. I’ve archived yesterday’s article which stated that Malaysia had ‘ended’ the Sabah curfew entirely. It clearly has not.

IMB issues Abu Sayyaf kidnap threat alert

Sabah
Ref: IMB/PRC/Alert – 106-2020

150600 UTC JUL 2020

TO: ALL SHIPS TRANSITING IN AND OFF EASTERN SABAH / CELEBES SEA / SULU SEA / TAWI TAWI

WARNING WARNING WARNING

THIS WARNING IS AN ACTIVE WARNING BROADCAST TRANSMITTED SINCE 011000 UTC JUL 2020. BROADCAST WILL CONTINUE ON ALTERNATE DAYS.
AFTER RE-EVALUATION ON 13.07.2020, THIS WARNING IS STILL VALID FOR ANOTHER 5 DAYS. SOME OF THE ASG MEMBERS CANNOT BE TRACK AND MAY STILL BE AT SEA.

ASG PLAN KIDNAPPING – ORIGINAL FIRST BROADCAST WARNING BELOW DATED 011000 UTC JUL 2020.

THE IMB PRC HAS RECEIVED INFORMATION ON 01 JULY 2020 FROM PHILIPPINES INTEL THAT EIGHT ASG/KFRG WERE SPOTTED IN SITANGKAI, TAWI TAWI ONBOARD A WHITE WITH YELLOW AND ORANGE STRIPES SPEEDBOAT POWERED BY 250HP YAMAHA ENGINE. IT WAS REPORTED THAT FOOD AND WATER WERE PURCHASED BY THEM EARLIER.
THE GROUP IS PLANNING TO CONDUCT KIDNAPPING ACTIVITIES IN/OFF SABAH/ SEMPORNA TARGETING FOREIGNERS/SEAFARERS.

VESSELS ARE ADVISED TO REMAIN VIGILANT AND MAINTAIN STRICT ANTI-PIRACY WATCH AND MEASURES.
EARLY ASSESSMENT / DETECTION WILL ALLOW SHIPS TO TAKE EVASIVE ACTIONS AND PREVENT BOARDING AND REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE. CITADEL/SAFE ROOM IS IMPORTANT IN CERTAIN AREAS.

THIS WARNING WILL BE RE-EVALUATED AGAIN ON 17 JULY 2020.

Fifty-one Incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia reported to ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre from January to June 2020

Number of incidents is almost double compared to the same period in 2019

ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) today released its Half-Yearly Report 2020 (January to June). Highlights of the Report, whose information is verified by the respective government agencies, also known as ReCAAP Focal Points, and regional authorities, are appended:

Overall Situation
• A total of 51 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 50 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in Asia during January-June 2020

• This represents close to a two-fold increase in the total number of incidents and a two-fold increase in the number of actual incidents reported in Asia, compared to 28 incidents (comprising 25 actual incidents and three attempted incidents) during January-June 2019.

• Of the 51 incidents, 49 were incidents of armed robbery against ships and two were piracy incidents

• On the other hand, the severity level of incidents has not worsened during January-June 2020 compared to January-June 2019: o 1 incident of Category 1 (same as in 2019) o Decrease of Category 2 (from 2 to 1 which is the lowest among the past 14-year period of 2007-2020) o 74% of incidents were Category 4 (perpetrators not armed, crew not harmed)

To download the report summary, please click here.

To visit the source, please click here.

Via: recaap.org