A new hotbed for maritime piracy
A recent report issued by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, states that while global piracy has dropped substantially, the number of piracy cases reported in pan-Malaysian waters is increasing. These waters include the Strait of Malacca, the Straits of Singapore and the South China Sea. When assessing the rise in attacks, it is essential to note that approximately half of the world’s oil supplies and a third of global trade passes through the Strait of Malacca.
Pirates operating in the panMalaysian waters are armed with guns, knives and machetes and are known to be violent. Ships of marauding thieves apparently favour these waters, where some 81 attacks occurred in 2012 and 48 in the first six months of 2013. Of these 2013 attacks, 43 involved pirates boarding vessels and assaulting and robbing the crew. Pirates have favoured South-East Asian waters for centuries, picking off traders who sailed through the Strait of Malacca to and from India and China.
In reviewing these attacks, it is important to distinguish between degrees of severity. On the lighter end are the ‘fishing boat’ pirates, who conduct sloppy attacks on busy coastal waters. These pirates favour the kind of passages where thousands of ships cruise between Indonesia and Malaysia, or in the South China Sea. They usually attack as thieves in the night while ships are anchored and most crew members sleeping.
Unfortunately, there is a more troubling class of piracy. This variety is perpetrated by large-scale, wellcoordinated global crime organisations. In these attacks, cargo worth millions of dollars is routinely stolen, as in the case of the Petro Ranger, an oil tanker that was robbed of $3 million worth of fuel en route from Singapore to Vietnam.
While official response may be increasing and helping, there is still little that the men on the ships can do in the event of an attack. In fact, crew members are expressly trained to simply meet pirates’ demands without a fight. Many captains forbid their crews from keeping weapons on board, as they have found that the pirates usually have them outgunned.
Maritime security through preparation and awareness
Consequently, MARITIME ELITE SQUAD (MES) was established as a brand of Ratusan Paksi Security SDN BHD (RPS). MES offers a cost-effective, preventionorientated, maritime security solution for the oil and gas and commercial shipping industries. RPS is registered with the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs as well as the Petronas Standardised Work and Equipment Categories (SWEC) Code. Our key personnel are former members of the Malaysian Elite Forces, the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Royal Malaysia Police-Marine Division and the Malaysian Army. MES is a young company, but the combined experience of its staff adds up to over 150 years, creating a world-class reputation.
The selection of MES team leaders and maritime security officers with tactical perception results in highly successful security provisions. Every area of risk is reviewed and evaluated, with nothing left to chance. Each phase, from equipment selection and assignment and embarkation through release point and disembarkation, has its own detailed audit checklist and is followed and filed with military precision. Drills are conducted to update training.
Our 24/7 operations centre provides real-time GPS tracking and reporting, with the capability of verifying passage plans and reporting any deviation to the client. MES reports include situational status, location, weather/sea conditions and full incident reports. These reports can be viewed any time online and are uploaded on a one to two-hourly basis as requirements dictate. Each report can be tailored to specific client needs.
As the need arises, MES liaises with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, International Maritime Bureau, Singapore Police Coast Guard, the Royal Malaysian Navy and Indonesia’s Maritime Safety Coordination Organisation (Bakorkamla).
Our operatives have experience in anti-piracy, anti-hijacking, anti-terrorism, onboard disaster recovery, scuba diving and function with a multidimensional skill set, including but not limited to:
- Security assessment;
- Risk mitigation;
- Crisis management;
- Hostage negotiation;
- Private investigation.
Maritime Elite Squad complies fully with the International Maritime Organization’s 1974 Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) codes.
Maritime Elite Squad is the sole private maritime security company in Malaysia registered with the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI).
The name MARITIME ELITE SQUAD will convey to any client vast security experience and assurance of high operational standards.