ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), the Singapore-headquartered anti-piracy watchdog, posted no fuel siphoning incidents for the month of July 2015.
“The recent arrest of eight perpetrators involved in the hijacking and siphoning of fuel from Orkim Harmony in the South China Sea on 11 June 2015 could be the reason for no such incident reported in July 2015,” said ReCAAP ISC in its monthly report.
The anti-piracy watchdog stated that the perpetrators/syndicate may have chosen to suspend its activities amid heightened precautionary measures taken by shipowners/masters, and other counter-piracy measures deployed by the relevant authorities.
None of the 10 incidents reported in July was a Category 1 or fuel-siphoning event. The monthly record stands for the first time since January, when no siphoning of ship fuel/oil was known to have had occurred. This is in stark contrast to the incidents recorded in January-June 2015, when a total of 11 fuel-siphoning incidents took place.
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Of the 10 reported incidents in July, one was classed as a moderately severe or Category 2 incident. This was followed by one case of low severity or a Category 3 incident, then six cases of petty theft incidents, and two attempted incidents.
These 10 incidents represented a 37.5% year-on-year drop in the overall number of 16 incidents in July 2014. Meanwhile, five out of the 10 reported incidents occurred on board ships while under way in the straits of Malacca and Singapore, two on board ships while anchored at ports/anchorages in Ho Chi Minh and Vung Tau, Vietnam.
There was one incident on board a ship anchored at Kandla anchorage, India; followed by one incident on board a barge towed by a supply vessel off the coast of Tanjung Kelasa, Malaysia; and finally one incident that happened on a ship anchored off Pulau Batam, Indonesia.
“The improvement in the situation in the straits of Malacca and Singapore could be attributed to the increase in the presence of enforcement agencies and better situational awareness of ship masters and crew transiting the area,” added ReCAAP ISC, commending the efforts of the joint co-ordinated Malacca Strait Patrols in safeguarding the sea lanes as well as the enhanced vigilance exercised by the ship masters and crew transiting in the area.