[Documents menu] Documents menu

Message-ID: <199905060929.FAA21564@saltmine.radix.net>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 05:29:39 -0400
Reply-To: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
From: Alex G Bardsley <bardsley@RADIX.NET>
Subject: Fwd: Joint sea patrols as piracy surges (HKStandard)

X-URL: http://www.hkstandard.com/online/news/001/asia/news005.htm

Joint sea patrols as piracy surges

Hong Kong Standard, [5 May 1999]

SINGAPORE: The navies of Singapore and Indonesia have stepped up joint patrols following a recent spate of robberies of ships in waters between the two countries, a newspaper reported yesterday.

There was a surge in the number of such robberies this year, the Straits Times quoted Singapore navy chief Rear Admiral Richard Lim as saying. The number of attacks was not given.

Such incidents are generally called sea robberies if they occur in a country's territorial waters, while they are defined as piracy when they happen in international waters, the newspaper said.

Both sea robbers and pirates must be fought on land as well as at sea, Adm Lim said.

It is not easy to catch them at sea. It is important to complement maritime patrols with effective police action on land, he said in the Straits Times report.

Ultimately it is more effective to catch them at places where they are operating from, and use police intelligence to find out where they are getting rid of their loot, he said.

The Singapore navy chief was speaking at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition in Singapore.

Statistics on sea robberies in territorial waterways were not immediately available, but piracy in Southeast Asia's international waters has been receiving growing attention.

The region is one of the worst spots for piracy, with nearly half of the attacks reported worldwide last year.

Pirates are becoming more violent, killing 67 people last year compared to 51 in 1997, according to statistics from the London-based International Maritime Bureau.

The actual number of reported pirate attacks worldwide fell to 198 in 1998 from an all-time high of 247 in 1997, the bureau said in earlier reports. - AP