Prospects for Cooperation
NUS Centre for International Law series
Edited by Robert Beckman and J. Ashley Roach
Chapter 6: ASEAN measures in combating piracy and other maritime crimes
For the period of 2006–2010, it was reported that there were 339 actual incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Southeast Asia. Although incidents in the region were less violent than elsewhere and were mostly opportunistic in nature (cash, personal property and belongings of the crew were stolen), it bears noting that the numbers have increased. In 2010, 98 actual incidents and 21 attempted incidents reportedly occurred, signifying an increase of 65 per cent from the previous year – the highest number of incidents for the five-year period. Significantly within the region, three tugboats were also hijacked which were later recovered after prompt response and cooperation of law enforcement authorities in the region. The increasing number of incidents in the region, the increasing risks to crew members and the transnational nature of the crimes all point to the need for concerted efforts among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to combat maritime crimes effectively. Presently, ASEAN member states deal with piracy and other maritime crimes as primarily a national law enforcement issue (trilaterally to a limited extent in the case of Straits of Malacca and Singapore). In addition, ASEAN member states appear to have different levels of interest and policy approaches towards piracy.
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