The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has warned that there has been an increase in the number of piracy incidents reported in Bangladesh since January 2024. During January-May 2024, a total of nine incidents were reported in Bangladesh, compared to only one incident reported in the entire year of 2023.

Of the nine incidents reported during January-May 2024, seven were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents. The incidents occurred off Kutubdia Island and at Chattogram Anchorage.

The report advised shipping to exercise enhanced vigilance, and to maintain communication over VHF channels with the port control and law enforcement agencies when entering Bangladesh waters.

Following the rise of incidents reported during January-May 2024, the Bangladesh Focal Point called for the enhancement of maritime patrol/presence in port and anchorages, mooring outer anchorage and ships while underway, with emphasis in the areas where incidents occurred more frequently.

Restrictions have also been implemented at ports, anchorages and outer anchorages for country boats, fishing boats and motorboats that cannot ply or come alongside anchored ships without any valid documents. Barter trade is also prohibited in the port, anchorages and outer anchorage areas.

The Bangladesh navy, on its part has increased its vigilance and sea patrols to respond to any potential ships in distress.

The Bangladesh coast guard (BCG) has also increased its patrols and surveillance as well as the monitoring of any illegal boat activities in the areas of concern.

It is worth mentioning that during the 18-year period (2007-2023 & Jan-May 2024) there was a total of 169 incidents (153 actual incidents and 16 attempted incidents).

The year 2010 saw the highest number of incidents – 24 incidents (21 actual and three attempted incidents).

The Centre observes that there has been a pattern of an increase of incidents at an interval of three to four years during 2007 to 2014, and an interval of two years during 2020 to 2024.

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has also warned that a total of 18 incidents were reported in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) since January 2024.

The report notes that from 11-17 June 2024 one incident of armed robbery against ships in Asia was reported to ReCAAP ISC.

The incident occurred onboard a bulk carrier while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), west of Pulau Cula, Indonesia on June 11, 2024.

Six men with knives entered the ship and two crewmembers were tied-up. No injuries were reported in this incident.

ReCAAP ISC advises ships to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and the littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in these areas.