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Weekly Maritime Security Report 12 June 2019

South East Asia 

Indonesia: Robbers steal ships properties in Taboneo Anchorage

19 February

According to late reports, duty crew onboard an anchored bulk carrier in Taboneo Anchorage noticed the forecastle store door broken into and ships properties missing at 2145 hrs local time while carrying out routine rounds. The incident was reported to Taboneo Port Control. Marine police boarded the vessel to investigate and collect evidence. It is likely that the vessel was targeted by robbers while in the anchorage.

 

PVI Analysis: Robberies are commonly reported at Indonesian anchorages, particularly overnight when assailants take advantage of low visibility. Robbers are typically opportunistic and non-violent, although there is precedent for robbers to use force in the region.

 

Malaysia: Robbers board tug boat off Tanjung Piai

30 May

An unspecified number of robbers boarded an underway Malaysia-flagged tug boat towing a barge at 2230 hrs local time, around 3.4 nm southeast of Tanjung Piai, Johor, while the vessel was en route from Tawau to Penang. The Master of the tug contacted the local maritime authorities and reported the incident. The robbers escaped in a small craft, with some small tools stolen from the barge.

 

Malaysia: Suspected robber boards vessel off Bandar Penawar

31 May

Duty officers onboard an anchored bulk carrier noticed an unauthorised person on the forecastle and proceeded to investigate at 2330 hrs local time, around 13 nm east-northeast of Bandar Penawar, Johor. As the officers arrived, the person threatened them with a knife and escaped with an accomplice who was waiting in a boat. The incident was reported to the local authorities. The coast guard boarded the vessel to investigate. Nothing was reported stolen.

 

PVI Analysis: The threat of piracy off Malaysia is high, particularly in the strait of Malaca, though robberies at sea have been reported in other areas including off Penawar. Assailants have been known to use force to extract their demands. In some cases, crew have been injured during robberies. Coordinated patrols by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore along with increased security on vessels have however seen a downturn in piracy in the region in recent years.

 

Select Maritime News

Brazil: Authorities seize narcotics at Manaus port

04 June 

Authorities seized an unreported volume of marijuana and cocaine hidden on a ship docked at Manaus port. Authorities found the narcotics after receiving an anonymous call regarding a ship transporting narcotics. The intended destination of the drugs was not clear.

 

Germany: Climate activists block cruise ship at Kiel port

10 June

Approximately 50 environmental activists blocked a Copenhagen-bound cruise ship at Kiel port with small boats and climbing equipment. The activists were protesting the environmental damage

caused by large cruise ships and perceived poor working conditions for crew. The ship departed following the arrest of 46 activists, local media reported.

 

Honduras: Authorities seize 160 kg of cocaine at Cortes port

05 June

Authorities seized 160 kg of cocaine hidden in a container at Cotes port. Authorities found the narcotics during a routine operation, aided by sniffer dogs. The container filled with drugs originated in Panama, but the intended destination of the narcotics was not clear.

 

Indonesia: Cargo vessel sinks off eastern coast, leaving 17 crew missing

05 June

Seventeen crew members are missing after a cargo vessel overturned and sank off the east of Indonesia, authorities said. The boat was sailing from Bitung, on the northern tip of Sulawesi island, to Morowali regency in the south, rescue officials said. The incident occurred on the afternoon of 1 June but was not previously reported. Only one person, who was found floating in a life jacket by a passing vessel on 4 June, has so far been rescued. A rescue vessel has been deployed to search for the other 17 crew members. Marine accidents are common in Indonesia due to poor safety standards.

 

Libya: Coast guard intercepts 92 migrants off Qarabulli

05 June

The coast guard intercepted 92 Europe-bound migrants off the western town of Qarabulli. The migrants were nationals of unspecified African countries and Bangladesh. Libya remains a major departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe.

 

Tunisia: Navy intercepts seven migrants off Sfax

03 June

The navy intercepted seven Tunisian would-be migrants off the coast of Sfax, state-run media reported. The migrants had departed from Skhira town and intended to reach Italy. Attempts to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe are common in Tunisia, which suffers from poor economic conditions and high unemployment.

 

Yemen: Coalition forces evacuate crew member of Iranian vessel off Hodeidah

04 June

A Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebel group said that its forces airlifted a crew member of an Iranian ship off the port of Hodeidah for unspecified medical reasons. Officials said the rescue happened after the kingdom received a distress call from the Iranian vessel Saviz, adding that it also received a formal request for assistance from Iran's mission to the United Nations. The crew member was taken to a military hospital in the southern Saudi city of Jizan, Saudi state media said.

The evacuation comes amid sustained tensions between Iran and GCC countries following an attack on four oil tankers in the Gulf in May, which several GCC countries blame Iran for orchestrating.

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