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'Stark rise' in SE Asian piracy, gangs operating with 'apparent impunity': Dryad Maritime

'Stark rise' in SE Asian piracy, gangs operating with 'apparent impunity': Dryad Maritime
Dryad Maritime says piracy incidents in Southeast Asia were up 38% in the first nine months of the year with gangs operating with “apparent impunity”.

The maritime intelligence company said there had been a “stark rise” in attacks in Southeast Asia with 194 incidents in the first nine months of 2015 compared to 140 a year earlier.

“The apparent impunity of maritime gangs operating in the region has led Dryad to call upon the three nations surrounding the Singapore Strait, in particular, to provide a permanent security presence to deter criminals and protect maritime trade,” Dryad stated.

The incidents included 14 hijackings with, in general, small tankers targeted for cargo theft. Although the number of such incidents has declined in the third quarter Dryad warned that the fourth quarter would likely see an increase in incidents of hijacking and petty theft.

The company said that while both the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities had made repeated announcements pledging enhanced patrols there had been little evidence of a regular presence in the area where most incidents have taken place.

“There is a pressing need for a joined-up security effort in the Singapore Strait and other areas. Without a high visual presence from security agencies, criminal gangs will continue to operate freely with little fear of capture or prosecution,” commented Ian Millen, Dryad’s coo.