India has been hit by a series of piracy incidents during the month of January, latest industry figures reveal.
The country suffered six of the nine incidents reported in Southeast Asia last month by the Singapore-based the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre.
Of the six incidents reported in India, five occurred on board ships anchored in the Gulf of Kutch, Kandla, and one on board a ship anchored in Visakhapatnam, in eastern India.
The ReCAAP ISC said all six reported incidents in Indian occurred during the hours of darkness between 19:30 and 06:30 hrs the following day.
Of the six incidents, three reported loss of ship stores; and in the other three incidents, nothing was stolen.
In all these incidents, the perpetrators escaped immediately after realising that they had been sighted by the crew.
The ReCAAP ISC said that two of the boardings that took place on 11 January were less than three hours apart and in close proximity to each other suggesting that the same group of perpetrators might be involved.
Investigations carried out by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) revealed a number of shortcomings either by local authorities or vessel crews.
It found that in two of the incidents, the advisory issued by the port authority/coastal security agency in adopting appropriate precautionary measures were generally neglected.
In another of the incidents, the master claimed ignorance of the procedures that he needed to follow, and did not report the incident to the relevant authorities.
In two incidents, the ICG found that the master only reported the incident to the relevant authorities some time after the incident nine hours and two days respectively.
The ReCAAP ISC said it urges port authorities along with the state marine police and relevant enforcement agencies to beef up their presence and enhance their surveillance and undertake immediate actions to apprehend the perpetrators involved.