The Piracy Reporting Center
of the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau is raising the alarm about an increase in small tanker hijackings.
While the overall number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the piracy center was down in the first six months of 2014 — 116 compared to 138 incidents for the corresponding period for 2013 — IMB said that in Southeast Asia, "at least six known cases of coastal tankers being
hijacked for their cargoes of diesel or gas oil have been reported
since April this year, sparking fears of a new trend in pirate attacks
in the area. Until then, the majority of attacks in the region had been
on vessels, mainly at anchor, boarded for petty theft."
IMB said in the first half of 2014, 10 vessels were hijacked, with seven fired upon and 78 boarded. Twenty one vessels reported attempted attacks against their vessels. In these incidents, 200 crewmembers were taken hostage, five were kidnapped from their vessels, and there were two fatalities, according to the report.