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Maritime crime threat to crews continues

06 Sep 2019

Piracy and robbery – often armed – continue to pose threats to crews in many hotspots around the world. While the waters off West Africa remain the most dangerous area for piracy and armed robbery, the most recent incidents worldwide reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) indicate an upsurge of crime in South East Asia.

  •  Two robbers were spotted on board a bulk carrier berthed at Sandakan, Malaysia on 27 August. The alarm was raised and the robbers escaped with stolen ship’s property.
  • Armed men were spotted on board a tanker anchored around 17 nautical miles off Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia on 25 August. The alarm was raised, the whistle sounded and crew retreated into the accommodation. The robbers escaped with a life raft and other ship's property.
  • Two armed robbers boarded a bulk carrier preparing to up anchor at Belawan, Indonesia on 22 August, held the duty crew member at knife point and tied him up. They snatched his walkie-talkie and escaped.
  • Five robbers armed with knives boarded a tug anchored at Batam, Indonesia on 20 August. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered and called the local authorities, who boarded the tug for investigations. Deck and engine room spares were found to have been stolen.
  • Pirates boarded a tanker 50 nautical miles off Brass, Nigeria on 17 August. The alarm was sounded and the crew mustered in the citadel. A Nigerian Navy patrol boat team boarded the vessel and confirmed there were no longer pirates on board.
  • A robber was spotted stealing ship’s property from an offshore supply ship berthed at Federal Ocean Terminal, Onne, Nigeria on 14 August. The crew locked the robber inside a room, and he was taken ashore for questioning and investigation.
  • Two robbers armed with knives were spotted trying to break into the steering gear room of a container vessel berthed at Phuoc Long, Vietnam on 11 August. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered. The robbers escaped empty-handed.    


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:

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