New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
August 7, 2004
as provided by Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
New Straits Times (Malaysia):
Troubled waters ..BY: By Jason Gerald ..LD: KUALA LUMPUR, Fri. - The Straits of Malacca and the waters off Indonesia are
becoming hotspots for pirates. In fact, these waters saw more than a third of 182 such attacks worldwide. ..TX: KUALA
LUMPUR, Fri. - T
KUALA LUMPUR, Fri. - The Straits of Malacca and the waters off Indonesia are becoming hotspots for pirates.
In fact, these waters saw more than a third of 182 such attacks worldwide.
This was worrying, Maritime Institute of Malaysian research associate Dr Vivian Louis Forbes said at MIMA's talk entitled Continuing Menace: Acts of Piracy and Armed Robbery, today.
He said statistics showed that while pirate attacks were dropping in other parts of the world, they were rising in this region.
Forbes, however, applauded the efforts by the governments of Ma- laysia, Singapore and Indonesia to co-ordinate military patrols in the Straits of Malacca. The patrols started on July 19.
The 20 pirate attacks in the Straits in the first six months of the year are the highest in 14 years.
There were seven cases in the Singapore Straits compared with none last year, while 50 attacks were reported in Indonesian waters.
He said the figures from the International Maritime Bureau were worrying, especially against the backdrop of the importance of these waters to international trade.
In comparison, pirate attacks in Bangladesh dropped to nine cases from 23 while in the Red Sea and Aden Gulf, the number dropped from 14 to four.
Forbes added that pirates had also become more violent in the first six months of the year with 30 people killed in attacks compared with 16 during the same period last year.
"In January, for instance, pirates who hijacked a tanker in the Straits of Malacca shot dead four of the vessel's crew after ransom talks collapsed," he said.
Forbes, who is also an associate professor at Curtin University, Australia, said one solution to curb piracy was to place tracking devices on board ships and installing ShipLoc, an inexpensive satellite tracking system which allows shipping companies, armed with only a personal computer with Internet access, to monitor the location of their vessels.
"Other solutions include having an alert crew, placement of armed guards, secure doors and portholes and to check crew list and ship for stowaways," Forbes said
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Record Number: A200408091D2-369F-AIW,0,XML,AIW