Chaff Launch

Friday, February 20, 2009

Strait of Malacca Pirates: 2 sailors kidnapped

In recent years, the Strait of Malacca has shown a large decrease in reported piracy, but there is still danger out there, as reported here:
'A Singapore-managed tug and barge was attacked in the Malacca Strait on February 19 in the afternoon,' a maritime source familiar with the incident told AFP.

'About 12 pirates armed with guns attacked the tug and barge and kidnapped two crew members as the vessel was en route to Singapore,' he said, adding that the rest of the crew and the boat were not seized.

The nationality of the sailors was not known, and neither was it known whether negotiations to secure the release of the pair have begun.
Kidnapping of crew members for ransom is a frequent form of piracy in the Strait of Malacca.

UPDATE: There are predictions that piracy will be on the rise in the Strait of Malacca. See here which point to the down turn in the economy as a factor. In January 2009, a ReCAAP report suggested that pirates may be shifting their operations to less well patrolled areas, especially off the southeast coast of Jahor and Tioman Island. See here.

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