Unrep MSC to amphib

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Malacca Piracy and organized crime> Ya Think?

Some interesting thoughts here about piracy and suspected links to a larger criminal enterprise.
Zulkilfli AR, Head of Operations, Indonesia's Marine Police, Riau province, said: "There are three different groups operating in Riau. One is the traditional people, a small group of robbers trying to earn a living. Their targets are basically boats belonging to fishermen. The second group, in Batam, is a combination of various ethnic groups. Their targets are barges, tugboats, which they seize in order to sell them. Another group is the armed group. Their targets are tankers, cargo ships with foreign flags."

That's why in Singapore, there are Accompanying Sea Security Teams or ASSET.

Their job is to stop pirates, or even terrorists who pose as pirates, from taking over sea-going vessels.

Every day since March 2005, the ASSET teams have been boarding and escorting some of the 1,000 ships that make their way to Singapore each day.

Lt-Col Lee Khai Leong, Commanding Officer of 180 Squadron, said: "ASSETS will embark together with the pilot on board the ship, the one that we have identified.

"Once on board, they will proceed to the bridge and then they will secure the ship at various locations to prevent her from causing any catastrophic damage.

"We will then follow the ship all the way into harbour."

Some may think that such security measures are a little extreme, others believe it is necessary since maritime trade is a lifeline for Singapore, just as it is for many other Asian nations.
Singapore seems to be getting a handle on this...

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