Swift action needed in Asia hijackings
Recent spate of hijackings causing concern in shipping industry.
The need for swift action on Southeast Asian pirate hijackings
By Marcus Hand from Singapore
Sometimes the global fight against piracy is bit reminiscent of one of those “whack-a-mole” games in amusement arcades – every time you bash down the mole in one place it pops up in another. In the late 1990’s and into the first part of the 2000’s Southeast Asia was the global blackspot, however, pressure on regional governments saw the problem brought under control.
Around that time there were the first signs of problems off the failed state of Somalia. Within a few years these had spiralled completely out of control as scores of ships and their crews were held hostage at any one time. It was to take a combination of multi-national naval force deployments, which still remain, and owners turning to private maritime security companies to bring the scourge under control.
Now while this has resulted in global piracy figures dropping substantially shipping is far from free of attacks. A new, particularly violent form of piracy has come up in West Africa, where vessels are hijacked to steal their cargo.
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