The new sea piracy hot spot

Sea crimes are on the rise in Southeast Asia

Forget Somalia — this is the new sea piracy hot spot



It’s early in the evening on Saturday, Aug. 8, and the Singaporean oil tanker “Joaquim” is on its way from the Indonesian port city of Tanjung Pinang to the small Malaysian island Langkawi, bearing 3,500 metric tons of fuel oil. The shipment never reaches its destination.

The Joaquim is attacked by armed pirates in the narrow Malacca Strait. The ship is found the next day, 3,000 metric tons of oil gone, the navigation system and communication equipment smashed, and the crew beaten but alive.

Sea crime in Southeast Asia is on the rise, according to shipping groups and governmental organizations. While most attacks aren’t like the one on the Joaquim—in which a cargo ship is robbed of its freight—shippers are growing wary about the situation in the region. That’s why they are bolstering antipiracy countermeasures on their vessels and asking governments for an increased response.

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