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Piracy & Armed Robbery Prone Areas and Warnings
CreatedTuesday, 15 November 2011
Last modifiedMonday, 02 January 2023
Revised byMangal Singh Rathore
VotingAverage rating12 votes
Favourites277 Piracy & Armed Robbery Prone Areas and Warnings /icc_2527/index.php/site_content/item/277-piracy-prone-areas-and-warnings
All ships are advised to report all piracy and armed robbery incidents and suspicious sightings to local Authorities, their flag state and to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre as per IMO Cir 1334.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre can be contacted at:
Tel: +60 3 2078 5763 Fax: +60 3 2078 5769
WhatsApp / Telegram: +60 11 2659 3057. (Photograph or video submission encouraged).
24 Hours Anti-Piracy HELPLINE is: +60 3 2031 0014
Mariners are advised to be cautious, take precautionary measures and follow all recommended guidelines, when transiting the following areas:
SOUTH EAST ASIA AND INDIAN SUB CONTINENT
Bangladesh: Robbers normally target ships at anchor. Most incidents reported are at Chittagong anchorages and approaches. Incidents in Bangladesh have fallen significantly over the past few years because of the efforts by the Bangladesh Authorities.
Indonesia: Belawan and Tanjung Priok / Jakarta anchorage and surrounding waters. Pirates / robbers are normally armed with guns / knives and / or machetes. Generally, be vigilant in other areas. Many incidents may have gone unreported. Pirates / robbers normally approach vessels during the night. When spotted and alarm is sounded, the pirates / robbers usually escape without confronting the crew. A strict anti-piracy watch is recommended.
Meetings and continued dialogue between the Indonesian Marine Police (IMP) and the IMB PRC resulted in positive actions by the Indonesian Authorities, who have so far brought down the number of incidents significantly. With the assistance and actions of the IMP, the incidents appear to be decreasing each year with great success. Incidents in Indonesian waters has also dropped dramatically since the cooperation begin.
The Indonesian Marine Police have advised all ships intending to anchor, to do so at / near the following areas where Indonesian Marine Police will conduct patrols for greater protection.
(After IMP-IMB started the cooperation, since 2014, no incident has been reported in the Adang Bay region. With this in view, in March 2021, IMP has decided to replace Adang Bay with Tanjung Butan at 01:11.30N – 104:12.30E as Singapore Straits and surrounding waters are now classified as risky waters).
1. Belawan: 03:55.00N-098:45.30E
2. Dumai: 01:42.00N-101:28.00E
3. Nipah: 01:07.30N-103:37.00E
4. Tanjung Berakit/Bintan: 01:23.30N-104:42.30E
5. Tanjung Priok: 06:00.30S-106:54.00E
6. Gresik: 07:09.00S-112:40.00E
7. Taboneo: 03:41.30S-114:28.00E
8. Tanjung Butan: 01:11.30N-104:12.30E (effective 12 March 2021)
9. Muara Berau: 00:17.00S-117:36.00E
10. Balikpapan: 01:22.00S-116:53.00E
The Indonesian Authorities have advised IMB that in accordance with the Road Map Program Police Reforms Wave III, the above given ten locations prevention action of sea robbery / piracy in Indonesian waters will continue until further notice.
Vessels are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures and report all incidents and suspicious sightings to the local authorities and the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre. The IMB PRC will also liaise with the local authorities to render necessary assistance.
Malacca Straits: Although the number of incidents has dropped substantially due to increased and aggressive patrols by the littoral states’ authorities since July 2005, vessels are advised to continue maintaining strict anti-piracy / robbery watches when transiting the Straits. Currently, there are no indications as to how long these patrols will continue or when they will be reduced. In some cases, incidents may have gone unreported. Situation currently remains stable.
Malaysia: Bandar Penawar, Johor – past incidents reported on anchored vessels. Off Tanjung Piai – incidents reported on vessels underway. Though incidents have stopped, the IMB PRC is monitoring the situation and will liaise with the Malaysian Authorities / MMEA as needed.
In / off Eastern Sabah – Militant activities resulting in several tugs / barges / fishing vessels being attacked and crews kidnapped. There were two kidnapping incidents in 2018, two in 2019 and one in January 2020 off Tambisan, Sabah. The local Authorities have beefed up patrols. It was reported that several ASG militants have been captured / killed by the authorities. Militant / kidnapping incidents on merchant ships have stopped due to patrols and actions by both Malaysian and Philippines Authorities. The IMB PRC is monitoring the situation.
Vessels are advised to continue to take precautionary measures and maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures. Vessels transiting these waters should refer to the Sabah Notice to Mariners NTM 14 of 2017 on the Ship Reporting System. Vessels are also urged to monitor the IMB PRC Warnings on potential incidents targets / description of militant boats issued on behalf of the Philippines and Malaysian Intel Agencies.
Philippines: Pirates / militants in the southern Philippines conduct attacks on vessels in / off Sibutu passage / off Sibutu island / Tawi Tawi / Sulu sea / Celebes sea / off eastern Sabah. They attacked tugs / barges / fishing vessels / yachts / merchant ships to rob and kidnap crews for ransom. These kidnappings by militants have stopped (for merchant ships) since March 2017. In 2018 there were two incidents where crews were kidnapped off Sabah, two in 2019 and one in 2020 where smaller tugs and fishing boats were targeted. These kidnappers are believed to be affiliated with the ASG. The local Authorities have beefed up patrols. It was reported that several ASG militants have been captured / killed by the Authorities. The IMB PRC is monitoring the situation. Vessels are advised to take precautionary measures and maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures. Vessels transiting these waters should refer to the Sabah Notice to Mariners NTM 14 of 2017 on the Ship Reporting System. Vessels are also urged to monitor the IMB PRC Warnings on potential incidents locations / targets issued by the Philippines Intel / Malaysian Intel Agencies.
Manila/Batangas/Tabangas: Be vigilant. Several past and recent incidents / robberies have been reported.
Singapore Straits: A General Warning issued in December 2019 indicating a sudden rise in incidents in Singapore Straits especially during the night is still valid. The incidents are still occurring and increasing. It appears one or more groups are targeting passing ships including tugs / barges to rob them. Authorities have been notified and are aware of the situation. Vessels are advised to remain vigilant and to continue maintaining adequate anti-piracy / robbery watches and measures. Pirates / robbers board ships while underway or while at anchor especially during the night. Pirates / robbers will abort and move away when the alarm is sounded and authorities notified. Therefore, a strict watch is necessary.
South China Sea: Although incidents have stopped in the vicinity off Tioman / off Pulau Aur / off Anambas / Natuna / Mangkai islands / Subi Besar / Merundung areas, vessels are advised to continue to remain vigilant, especially during the night. In the past, several hijackings of small product tankers occurred off the coast of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and in the South China Sea area. This trend started in April 2014, but the hijackings stopped abruptly in late 2015. It has been reported that some criminals have been arrested by local Authorities both in Malaysia and in Indonesia. There were three incidents reported in 2017 where two tankers were hijacked off Kuantan / Off Pulau Aur / East coast Malaysia. The IMB continues to monitor the situation.
WEST AFRICA (Gulf of Guinea)
As a general rule:
(i) Follow recommendations and guidelines presented in the BMP WA.
(ii) All crews to keep a vigilant lookout using all available means. Ships to adjust ETA for direct berthing or wait / drift / transit more than 300 nm from coast, if appropriate and agreed by all in venture. Incidents reported up to 261 nm from coast.
Angola:(Luanda): Incidents of robberies reported.
Benin(Cotonou):No recent incidents reported. Past incidents reported in / off Benin. Vessels attacked and crews kidnapped. Incidents showed that the pirates / robbers in the area are well armed and violent. Pirates robbed vessels and kidnapped crews for ransom. In the past, tankers were hijacked and part cargo stolen (gas oil).
Cameroon (Douala): Incidents appear to have stopped. Past incidents involved kidnapping of crews. Be vigilant.
Equatorial Guinea: Recent incidents off Bioko island and off Bata. One incident involved kidnapping and the other fired upon at 87 nm off Bata.
Gabon (Port Gentil / Owendo anchorage): Incidents dropped. Past incidents / kidnapping of crews occurred more than 70nm offshore.
Ghana (Takoradi): Incidents reported at Takoradi anchorages and off Accra.
Guinea (Conakry): Incidents dropped. Past incidents involving robberies reported at anchorages.
Ivory Coast (Abidjan): Incidents dropped but remains risky.
Nigeria (Lagos / Apapa, Off Bayelsa / Brass / Bonny Island / Port Harcourt): Pirates / robbers are often well armed, violent and have attacked and hijacked / robbed ships / kidnapped crews along or far from the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters. Incidents have also been reported up to about 261 nm from the coast. Generally, all waters in / off Nigeria remain highly risky. Vessels are advised to be vigilant as many incidents may also have gone unreported. Kidnapping for ransom remains the biggest risk for crews.Vessels are advised to take additional measures in these high-risk waters.In the past, tankers were also hijacked, and part cargo stolen (gas oil). Incidents dropped as no recent incidents reported for Nigeria, but vessels are advised to be vigilant as waters remain risky.
Togo (Lome): Incidents appear to have stopped. Past attacks reported at anchorage / in / off Togo. Vessels robbed and crews kidnapped. In the past, tankers were also hijacked and part cargo stolen (gas oil).
The Congo: Incidents appear to have stopped. Past incidents at Pointe Noire / Off Point.
Sao Tome & Principe:No recent reported incidents. Past incidents showed vessels hijacked / attacked, and crews kidnapped. Vessels advised to continue to maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures. Waters are still considered high risk for fishing and merchant vessels although incidents have dropped.
Sierra Leone (off Turtle Islands): One hijacking incident reported.
Red Sea / Gulf of Aden / Somalia / Arabian Sea / Indian Ocean: No recent reported piracy attacks. There were several suspicious reports. Although the opportunity for incidents has reduced, the Somali pirates continue to possess the capability and capacity to carry out incidents. All merchant ships are advised to adhere to the recommendations in the latest BMP, while transiting in these waters. The IMB PRC will continue to alert and broadcast information to all ships in the region via Inmarsat EGC Safety Net.
Although no reported incidents, the threat still exists in the waters off the southern Red Sea / Bab el Mandeb, Gulf of Aden including Yemen and the northern Somali coast, Arabian sea / off Oman, Gulf of Oman and off the eastern and southern Somali coast. In the past, vessels have also been targeted off Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, as well as in the Indian ocean, and off the west and south coasts of India, and west Maldives. Be vigilant.
Generally, Somali pirates tend to be well armed with automatic weapons, RPGs and sometimes use skiffs launched from mother vessels, which may be hijacked fishing vessels or dhows. Masters and ship owners are encouraged to register and report their vessels as per the latest BMP procedures and ensure that their vessel is hardened prior to entering the high-risk area. While transiting through these waters it is essential to maintain a 24-hour visual and radar watch. Keeping in mind the warnings and alerts for the area, an early sighting / detection of an approaching skiff will enable an accurate assessment, allowing the Master and PCASP to make informed decisions to keep clear of small boats, dhows, fishing vessels and, if necessary, take evasive actions and request assistance as needed.
Masters are reminded that fishermen in this region may try to protect their nets by attempting to aggressively approach merchant vessels. Some of the fishermen may be armed to protect their catch and they should not be confused with pirates.
Vessels transiting in / off Yemen / Gulf of Aden: Security risk due to civil war in Yemen. Vessels have been fired upon and approached. (not piracy related).
Vessels transiting Straits of Hormuz / Gulf of Oman / Off Iran: a number of incidents reported involving explosions and unauthorised boarding. (not piracy related).
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN WATERS
Brazil (Macapa): Incidents increasing. Waters remain risky. Stay vigilant.
Columbia (Cartagena): Incidents have dropped. Past incidents reported at anchorages, river passage and pilot boarding ground. Stay vigilant.
Equador (Guayaquil): Incidents have stopped. Past incidents reported at anchorage / river passage with pilot. Robbers well-armed. Fired upon.
Haiti (Port Au Prince/Lafiteau): Incidents dropped. Advised to continue maintaining watch and to stay vigilant.
Mexico (Puerto Dos Bocas): Incidents dropped. Past reported incidents - pirates / robbers in this area armed with guns.
Peru (Callao): Incidents are continuing. Maintain vigilant watch and employ anti-piracy measures.
Venezuela (Puerto La Cruz / Puerto Jose): Although incidents have stopped, vessels are still reminded to maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures especially at anchor.
Not piracy related: Ukraine and Russia conflict: stay clear of Ukrainian coast. Mines reported in the Black Sea.
IMB Maritime Security Hotline
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has a dedicated hotline for seafarers, port workers, shipping agents, shipyard personnel, brokers, stevedores, and all concerned parties to report any information that they may have seen / heard / known etc. relating to any maritime crime including terrorism, piracy and other illegal activities. All information reported will be treated in strict confidence and will be passed on to relevant Authorities for further action. Maritime crime and security concerns us all and with your help, we can try to minimize the risks and help save lives and property.
The Maritime Security Hotline can be contacted 24 hours every day at:
Tel: +60 3 2031 0014 Fax: +60 3 2078 5769 E-mail: email@example.com
WhatsApp or Telegram at +601126593057. Photograph or video submission encouraged.
REMEMBER: Your information may save lives. All information will be treated in strict confidence.