In a recent incident of theft/robbery onboard a bulk carrier transiting eastbound lane of Singapore strait in 22 April 2020 ,the bulk carrier (Horizon II) was en route from Singapore to Vietnam. Approximately 2.9 nm north of Pulau Nongsa, Indonesia in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait, two perpetrators were sighted at the stern deck of the ship.
One of the perpetrators was armed with a knife. The general alarm was raised and the crew mustered at the bridge. The master reported the incident to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated. The Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF), Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) and the Indonesian authorities were notified.The master deviated the ship back to the port of Singaporeand requested assistance from the authorities to conduct search on board for the perpetrators. MSTF’s RSS Justiceescorted the bulk carrier till her arrival at the port of Singapore. Upon her arrival, the Singapore PCG officers boarded the ship and conducted a search. There was no sighting of the perpetrators on board. The crew was not injured and nothing was stolen.
During January-March 2020, nine incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait. Of the nine incidents, eight incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait and one incident in the precautionary area in the Singapore Strait. Map 2 shows the location of the nine incidents occurred during January-March 2020. See below map.
Incidents reported during January-March 2020 in the Singapore Strait were consistent with the past 13-year trend of January-March of 2007-2019 in terms of the type of weapons used by perpetrators (majority of incidents with no information on the type of weapons), treatment of crew (no injuries), type of ships boarded (bulk carriers and tankers) and time of incidents (during hours of darkness). However, there were deviations in terms of the number of perpetrators and the items lost.
Perpetrators in Singapore starits are armed with knives/machetes. Among the 20 incidents involving perpetrators who were armed with knives/machete during January-March of 2007-2020, 16 incidents occurred in the western sector of the Singapore Strait and in the eastbound lane of the TSS.