Scrap Metal Theft Cases in the Singapore Strait Hit Fresh Record High
The special report published by the ReCAAP Information sharing Centre (ISC) says that scrap metal theft incidents in the Singapore Strait surged higher significantly in 2019 to hit new record.
According to the report, the number of incidents of theft of scrap metal from barges while underway in the Singapore Strait has surged to hit 14, so far this year until mid-August. Out of these nine incidents involved loss of scrap metal from the barges. However, all the 14 incidents were CAT 4 in nature, as the culprits were not armed and the crew not harmed. Meantime, ReCAAP ISC expressed deep concerns over the sudden spike in the number of scrap metal theft incidents in the region.
ReCAAP ISC notes that a total of 228 incidents occurred to tug boats and barges in Asia during the period between 2007 and mid-August this year. Among them, 98 incidents occurred in the Singapore Strait. The total number of such incidents has increased by 43% during the period. Of the 228 incidents, 25 involved theft of scrap metal from barges.
The report alerts the shipping industry and the law enforcement agencies on the need for closer and stricter monitoring, so as to prevent such incidents involving tug boats towing barges, particularly the theft of scrap metal from barges. It calls upon littoral States to strengthen the conduct of joint coordinated patrols, increase the enforcement in their respective waters and sharing of information on criminal groups.