Malacca Straight Sees Renewed Pirate Attacks

Why should you care? Because a whole lot of oil and 30 percent of total world trade moves through that region. Can you say “increased costs?” Southeast Asian pirates on the prowl once again ‹ Japan Today.

The Obama Administration just released (June 20) an updated “Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Plan” which focuses mainly on Africa – the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea specifically. (I can’t force myself to read the whole thing.) But it misses this upswing in Indonesia.

While most of the attacks have been small-scale, one stands out.

In one attack on May 28, the Thai tanker MT Orapin 4 was hijacked north of Indonesia’s Bintan Island.

The pirates reportedly painted over its name, destroyed communications equipment and brought in a smaller tanker vessel to siphon off much of the ship’s 3,700 metric tonne oil cargo. The vessel and crew were later released.

Where there are successful pirate attacks, you will see more piracy. And this attack has been repeated.

It isn’t clear that given everything going on politically in Asia, that the powers have the will to work together, but working together is the only way naval powers have ever gotten people to stop “sailing on the account.”