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The BBC's John Duce
"Some attacks are the work of organised crime syndicates"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Pirate attacks provoke action call
Ship
This year has already seen a record number of hijacks
By Asia reporter John Duce

Shipping experts have called on governments around the world to make much greater efforts to stamp out piracy.

A conference in Malaysia has heard that the number of maritime attacks is increasing and that the problem is particularly serious in South East Asia.

A record number of cases of piracy were reported last year - 469 attacks. Many were in seas around Indonesia and Malaysia - an area already notorious for piracy.

Rare capture in 1999 of a gang of Indonesian pirates
Rare capture in 1999 of a gang of Indonesian pirates
Delegates from law enforcement agencies and shipping countries around the world are meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss how to tackle the problem.

Many delegates have said there needs to be far greater co-operation between governments and law enforcement agencies to co-ordinate patrols and intelligence efforts to stop the pirates.

A senior Indonesian navy official says his government is doing what it can to halt the attacks, deploying about 40 navy ships in the area around the Straits of Malacca.

Danger spots - attacks in 2000
Indonesia 119
Malacca Strait 75
Bangladesh 55
India 35
Ecuador 14
Source IMB
But he says monitoring all shipping passing through Indonesian waters is a vast task and he speculated that some of the attacks are the work of organised crime syndicates.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian authorities have reported that in recent days pirates have kidnapped the captain of an Indonesian vessel.

A Malaysian ship has also just been attacked in waters off the coast of Borneo.

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See also:

31 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Piracy at 10-year high
01 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia 'piracy hotspot'
31 Jul 00 | South Asia
Pirate attacks almost double
27 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Asian nations tackle piracy
03 Feb 99 | Asia-Pacific
'China letting pirates go free'
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