Worldwide pirate attacks have slightly declined from January to September this year as incidents off the coast of Somalia declined, but reported cases of attacks in the South China Sea, particularly in Indonesia waters increased, a report by an international maritime watchdog showed on Monday.
Based on a data released by London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the number of pirate attacks in the South China Sea increased to about 30 cases in the first seven months of this year, more than three times from last year.
IMB’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia cited that increase pirate presence off the coastlines of Indonesia was the main reason for the jump in attacks to merchant vessels.
But unlike Somalis who hold the entire ship and crewmen hostages, armed pirates in Asia only rob merchant vessels.
Also, most of the reported attacks occurred off the coast of Mangkai island in Indonesia – a transit route commonly used by seagoing vessels heading to Singapore Strait and East Asia.
Reduced presence of Indonesian Navy and other naval patrols were also the main reason why pirate attacks in the area increased from seven to 26 during the period.
The Indonesian government immediately reinstalled the patrols, increasing naval visibility upon the request of the IMB.
Worldwide pirate attacks dropped to 289 between January to September this year, compared to 306 cases reported in the same period last year.