ReCAAP ISC Special Report on Incidents Involving Tug Boats and Barges in the Singapore Strait #pirac
22 August 2019
Incidents involving tug boats and barges in the Singapore Strait
1. The number of incidents occurred on board tug boats towing barges in the Singapore Strait is on the rise in 2019. During 2019 (up to 15 August), a total of 14 incidents were reported. Of these, nine incidents reported loss of scrap metal from their barges. This is the highest number of incidents of theft of scrap metal from barges while underway in the Singapore Strait since the first incident of such nature was reported to the ReCAAP ISC in 2011.
2. Although all the 14 incidents were CAT 4 (petty theft) in nature as the perpetrators were not armed and the crew not harmed, the ReCAAP ISC is concerned about the increase in the number of incidents. With 14 incidents occurred over a period of seven months (Feb-Aug 2019), it is about an average of two incidents occurred per month.
3. This Special Report is to alert the shipping industry and law enforcement agencies to the increase in the number of incidents involving tug boats towing barges in the Singapore Strait, particularly the theft of scrap metal from barges. The Report provides an insight of the incidents, the modus operandi of the perpetrators and recommendations to the tug boat industry and authorities to prevent the continued occurrence of such incidents.
4. The ReCAAP ISC encourages the littoral States to strengthen the conduct of joint coordinated patrols, increase the enforcement in their respective waters and promote sharing of information on the latest situation and the criminal groups involved in order to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators. The ship master and crew are advised to report all incidents, suspicious activities and presence of suspicious small boats in the vicinity to the nearest coastal State immediately.
The contact numbers of the littoral States are as follows:
Singapore: Phone number: +65 6325 2493/4
Malaysia: Phone number: +60 7221 9231 Phone number: +60 7219 9401/9409
Indonesia: Phone number: +62 812 7754 8766