Sea piracy plunges to 18-year low but kidnappings rise

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Sea piracy plunged to its lowest ranges in 18 years in 2016, however kidnappings of crew members for ransom is escalating off west Africa and within the Sulu Seas close to the Philippines, a worldwide maritime watchdog stated Tuesday.

The Worldwide Maritime Bureau stated in its annual report that 191 piracy incidents have been recorded worldwide, down from 246 in 2015 and the bottom degree since 1998. It stated pirates hijacked seven vessels and held 151 hostages, down from 15 ships and 271 hostages in 2015.

Nevertheless, it stated maritime kidnappings surged by threefold to sixty two individuals from simply 19 individuals in 2015. It stated that 34 have been captured off west Africa, whereas 28 have been taken from tugs, barges, fishing boats and extra just lately service provider ships in waters round Malaysia and Indonesia and believed transferred to southern Philippines.

“The continued fall in piracy is sweet information, however sure delivery routes stay harmful, and the escalation of crew kidnapping is a worrying development in some rising areas. The kidnappings within the Sulu Seas between japanese Malaysia and the Philippines are a specific concern,” bureau director Pottengal Mukundan stated in a press release.

Within the final quarter alone, the bureau stated 12 crew have been kidnapped from two cargo vessels that have been underway and from an anchored fishing vessel within the Sulu Sea. In November, a bulk service was fired upon however pirates weren’t capable of board the vessel. Earlier in 2016, crewmembers have been kidnapped in three assaults on weak sluggish-shifting tugs and barges, it stated.

The bureau, whose piracy reporting middle is predicated in Kuala Lumpur, urged ship house owners to think about avoiding the Sulu Sea. It referred to as on governments to research and determine the abductors and punish them beneath the regulation.

It urged ships to be vigilant within the Gulf of Guinea, which remained a excessive-danger kidnapping hotspot with 34 seized from vessels in 9 incidents.

Worldwide, Indonesia remained the highest hotspot for piracy with forty nine incidents, principally low-degree thefts, however this was sharply down from 108 in 2015. Assaults surged off Nigeria which accounted for 36 incidents, up from 14 in 2015. India accounted for 14 incidents, Peru reported eleven and the Philippines 10.

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