Piracy incidents double across Asia: report hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: http://www.worldpronews.com/)

Singapore (VNA) - The number of armed pirates reported in the Singapore Strait in the first half of the year rose to 16 - the highest level in the last five years, and doubling compared to that in the same period last year.

According to a half-yearly report announced by the information centre of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) mechanism, the increase in piracy and armed robberies was recorded across Asian waters in  the period, with a total of 51 reported incidents, compared to 28 in the same period of 2019.

ReCAAP's executive director Masafumi Kuroki said the spike in cases was worrying, adding that “small crimes, if not addressed, can embolden criminals to commit more serious acts”.

According to the report, popular items to steal include scrap metal, engine parts, communication equipment from the ship's bridge and personal belongings from the crew.

ReCAAP has not been able to identify the cause of the increase in robberies in this area. It said it is necessary to increase patrol boats for enhanced surveillance in the area.

The report was collated from agencies in charge of this issue of 20 ReCAAP member countries, including Singapore, India, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and the US.

Recently, Singapore has made various efforts to respond to piracy, including restructuring the maritime security task force. In January, the Singapore Navy also held a meeting of the Malacca Straits Patrol Joint Coordinating Committee with representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand./.