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ReCAAP reports 17% rise in piracy incidences across Asia

The intergovernmental maritime body Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has reported a total of 97 piracy incidences across Asia for 2020.

This represents an increase of 17% over the number of cases reported in 2019 and is the highest since 2016. The increase has been largely attributed to a rise in the number of cases across Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, the South China Sea, and the Singapore Strait.

Out of the 97 cases, the highest number of incidences were recorded in the Singapore Strait, which saw 34 piracy and armed robbery-related activities in 2020. Most of the incidences took place in the eastbound lane of the traffic separation scheme (TSS) that is in effect along the waterway.

Another area of concern is the maritime region that straddles the Sulu-Celebes seas and waters off Sabah, Malaysia, where five crew members were abducted from a fishing trawler in January 2020. In September 2020 the remains of one of the crew was found but the remaining four still remain in captivity by militants believed to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

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