1. STRAITS OF MALACCA: A 28 Apr Singapore press report states Indonesia and Singapore have agreed to step up efforts to protect the pirate infested Straits of Malacca through coordinated joint patrols of the waterways. Both sides have agreed to reaffirm their commitment to improve the safety of the waterway that borders Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. A 26 Apr Malaysian press report states the Malaysian Navy wants all merchant ships that pass through the Straits of Malacca to use channel 6 to safeguard themselves from pirate attacks. A Malaysian Navy public relations officer explained the channel is to facilitate communications of merchant ships when entering the Straits of Malacca. He goes on to explain vessels need to provide their location to make monitoring easier for the military and that the use of channel 6 had been negotiated with the Singaporean and Indonesian military (LM).
2. ASIA: The first four countries have signed the
Japanese led Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) per 04 May message. Singapore, Cambodia, and Laos joined Japan last week in signing the ReCAAP agreement. The ReCAAP plans to establish and operate an Information Sharing Center, to be located in Singapore, with the goal of facilitating communication and information exchanges between the member countries, as well as improve the quality of statistics and reports on piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region. The ReCAAP agreement also seeks to enhance capabilities of member countries to combat piracy and will enter into force 90 days after the 10th country signs up (LL).
3. SOMALIA: After a quiet spell, serious attacks have
resumed off Somalia, per 18 Apr report. Since 31 Mar 05, three
incidents have been reported where pirates, armed with guns and grenades, have attacked ships and fired upon them. These attacks took place far away from the Somali coast. Eastern and
northeastern coasts of Somalia continue to be high risk areas for
hijackings. Ships not making scheduled calls to ports in these
areas should stay away from the coast (IMB)...
ANDAMAN SEA: Thai F/V (RATTANAKORN 5) was boarded, robbed, but rescued by authorities 30 Apr while fishing off the southern town of Satun, Thailand. Five men, armed with two M-16s, three AK-47s and 1,200 rounds, boarded the fishing vessel, but not before the crew could get off a distress call to the Thai Navy. The Thai Navy boarded the vessel and arrested the pirates without incident, rescuing the 17 Thai crewmen. Thai authorities suspect the arrested pirates could be involved with the rebellion in Ache, Indonesia and is working with the Indonesian embassy to identify them (REUTERS, LM, INFO).