There have been 10 incidents of piracy and armed robbery on ships off the coasts of Bangladesh and India so far this year.
According to a report by ReCAAP ISC, a piracy information group with 20 member countries, mostly in Asia, there were three incidents in Bangladesh and seven in India and, compared to three in Bangladesh and two in India in 2019, reports ThePrint.
Of these seven incidents in India, five occurred when ships were anchored or at berth while two occurred at sea.
In one such instance, the Indian Coast Guard arrested nine crew members of an Indian fishing boat who were stealing from a dead vessel off the coast of Gujarat in February.
The half-yearly report also notes that in 2020, crimes against ships in Asian waters have spiked to the highest in five years.
A total of 51 incidents were reported in Asia during January-June 2020, almost double from last year. This is the highest since 2015, where 114 incidents were recorded for the same period.
ReCAAP stands for Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia. ISC is the body's Information Sharing Centre (ISC) launched in 2006.
Singapore Strait worst-hit region
The 51 incidents occurred in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South China Sea and Singapore Strait. The worst-hit was the Singapore Strait with 16 reported incidents and Indonesia with 13.
China has not reported a single incident this year, compared to three during the same period last year, notes the report.
Of the 51 cases, one was an attempted case of robbery, 49 were of armed robbery and two were cases of piracy.
Different kinds of ships were attacked — 39 per cent were board tankers, 25 per cent were board bulk carriers, 24 per cent were board tug boats or supply vessels, 10 per cent were board container ships and 2 per cent were fishing trawlers.