Singapore sees piracy spike

Various cargo ships waiting to load and unload in the harbour at the busiest port of Singapore

Nations around the Singapore Strait have been urged to improve surveillance and patrols after the waterway suffered an increase in piracy-related incidents in 2019.

The warning comes from the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), which has published its annual report on piracy in the region.

Acts of piracy and armed robbery in the Strait rose to 31 in 2019, a substantial increase on the seven it saw in 2018. The past 12 months were the worst the Strait has suffered since 2015, when 99 piracy acts took place.

There were 82 acts of piracy across Asia in 2019, which is the second lowest amount since 2007.

ReCAAP executive director Masafumi Kuroki was quoted as saying: “We would like to ask the littoral states – Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia – to enhance the surveillance and control in the Singapore Strait because of this rapid increase of incidents.”

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