Security experts have warned that an organised criminal gang is preying on shipping off Bintan Island, Indonesia. The warning comes in the latest piracy report from security consultants AKE Maritime which cites two attacks off Tanjung Berakit.
In the first incident on 24 July in position 1:18°N 104:41°E about 3nm north east of Tanjung Berakit about seven attackers armed with knives boarded a tug underway and robbed the crew of their belongings. Less than 24 hours later a similar incident involving another tug was targeted by up to six individuals in exactly the same location.
After locking the crew up in a cabin the robbers successfully escaped with personal belongings and ship’s property. “The attacks on 24 and 25 July suggest a reasonably organised criminal group may be operating off the Berakit peninsula,” AKE Maritime said. “All traffic transiting the area should take appropriate action to ensure effective counter-measures are in place, especially slow-moving tugs and barges.”
Shipowners operating in Indonesia face one of the highest chances of a piracy attack in the world where around one-third of sea crimes occur. Almost all attacks are opportunistic ‘smash and grab’ type robberies on vessels in port or at anchor, according to AKE intelligence analyst Rory Lamrock.
for more maritime news see Tradewinds