This article comes fromWeChat official account: Earth Knowledge Bureau (ID: diqiuzhishiju), author: yoghurt not foam, drawing: Sun green, proofreading: cat Stewart, editor: Yakult, title figure from the visual China ( “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” stills)
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In the first half of this year, the global spread of the epidemic has had varying degrees of impact on the production and life of countries around the world. Many inhuman or illegal behaviors have also been aggravated by the word “money”. There were African female circumcision, The smuggling of blood plasma and the sale of counterfeit alcohol are now rampant piracy activities.

In 2020, piracy activities have increased dramatically. According to the Asian Regional Anti-piracy and Armed Robbery Cooperation Agreement (ReCAAP) the semi-annual report released in early July, the first 6 months of 2020, Fifty piracy incidents were recorded in Asian waters, which is twice the number of (25 incidents) incidents reported in the same period last year. And most of these attacks occurred in Southeast Asian waters.

Actually, the seas of Southeast Asia have been accompanied by pirates in recent decades, and Southeast Asian countries may not be surprised.

Modern Pirates in Southeast Asia

Since the advent of maritime trade, pirates have accompanied it, and it has been more than 3,000 years old.

Pirates in the Mediterranean region were rampant in ancient times. In the Middle Ages, pirates were seen in the Vikings in Northern Europe and the sea pirates in East Asia. After the opening of the new route until the 19th century, European pirates were rampant. And Southeast Asia, in modern times, especially since the 1990s, has become the region most affected by pirates.

The appearance of pirates often depends on several factors: complex terrain, profitability, and power vacuum

From ancient times to the present, these conditions have always been a breeding ground for pirates▼

The reasons come from many aspects. First of all, the environment in the seas of Southeast Asia is very suitable for pirates. The land of Southeast Asia is broken and there are many islands, which can provide pirates with excellent hiding places and provide excellent objective conditions for pirates to commit crimes.

In addition to broken land and numerous islands,

This is also the connecting point of the Indian Ocean-Pacific route,

Since it is profitable, you can create conditions even if the conditions are insufficient▼

Between these huge islands, there are numerous straits and inland seas, surrounded by long coastlines. These inland seas and straits have shaped many natural ports and shipping routes. After the opening of the new shipping route, they have become an important transportation hub between the east and the west. There are many merchant ships, high value of goods, and lack of armed protection. They are the best targets for attack.

There are more ships, more money, more money, but also looking for defense loopholes

Under modern technology, there are not many extra-legal waters left for pirates

(Picture: shutterstock@anek.soowannaphoom )▼

After the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, world trade developed rapidly, and the importance of Southeast Asian waters as an international channel became more and more prominent. The waterways of the Straits of Malacca, Singapore, San Bernardino and other waterways shuttled to and from all over the world every day, and piracy activities Naturally, it is becoming more and more rampant.

Double-barreled cannons, armors, etc. used by pirates in the Philippines

Complete crime tools and many advanced equipment

(Picture: Frederic H. Sawyer / wikipedia)▼

The changes in the international situation at this time also encourage piracy in Southeast AsiaAn important factor of movement.

After the end of the Cold War, a large number of weapons, equipment and military materials around the world were left idle. These weapons flowed into organized criminal groups through special channels(including pirates)In the hands, the fighting power of the pirates was promoted; and, at this time, the Soviet Union’s power in Southeast Asia gradually faded, and the United States gradually gave up the practice of maintaining its military strength in Southeast Asia and devoted more energy to the Middle East where ethnic conflicts are erupting. Freed from the deterrence of the United States and the Soviet Union, piracy in Southeast Asia has become more rampant.

Seafarers are not able to go to sea only with voyage skills

Pirates are so rampant

They also have to pick up guns and weapons to counter the pirate attacks

(In 1984, American seamen in the Strait of Malacca)

(Picture: Randy C. Bunney/ wikipedia)▼

The same reason that cannot be ignored is that the financial crisis broke out soon, the political instability and economic recession in Southeast Asian countries have greatly increased poverty, which has also prompted many poor or unemployed people to join the pirate industry.

Take Indonesia as an example. In 1998, the country had a population of 158 million and its annual national output value did not exceed US$460.(even lower than the level of West Africa) Therefore, Indonesian pirates are also the most rampant: “Facing the door of the house full ofMerchant ships of wealth, this great temptation drove young Indonesian men to become pirates. “

Indonesia’s per capita GDP fell off a cliff after the financial crisis

After that, it will be strong, although it still needs to be improved

But it’s already twice that of India


The superposition of various factors led to the fact that between 1995 and 2000, the number of piracy attacks in Southeast Asia often accounted for more than half of the total number of attacks in the world.

Nearly half of pirate attacks have occurred in Southeast Asian waters▼

After entering the 21st century, piracy in Southeast Asia seems to be more rampant. For example, in 2000, there were 469 piracy cases around the world, about 55%(257 cases) occurred in Southeast Asian waters; in 2003, the number of piracy cases in Southeast Asia reached the secondA historic peak, 189 cases occurred, accounting for 43% of the global total.

The practice of a typical pirate

Since the 1990s, pirate incidents in Southeast Asia have mainly occurred in the Strait of Malacca, the Indonesian waters, the Gulf of Thailand, and the Sulu Sea in the Philippines. Pirates have mostly resorted to robbery or theft as their main means to obtain property carried by ships.

Different from ancient times when pirates relied on axes and swords to travel the world, modern pirates are equipped with high-end equipment, equipped with advanced weapons such as radio, GPD and satellite phones. At midnight when the crew was most negligent, the pirates used high-speed speedboats to follow the target ship, approached the target and hooked the target with a multi-claw hook, and then jumped flexibly to help with the cargo and belongings on the ship. Object, commit theft or robbery.

They will strictly control the number and time when they move at night. Only a few people will get on the ship, and they will try to control the time within ten minutes, try not to disturb the people on the ship or cause harm to them, which shows their extraordinary skills.

In comparison, their Southeast Asian counterparts are obviously more arrogant

(Picture: wikipedia@Jason R. Zalasky)▼

But if the pirates are discovered, the crew will not resist. If they resist, the pirates will often control the crew and tie them with ropes, and then quickly steal or destroy the communications, navigation engines and other equipment of large freighters on the spot. Make the hijacked ship lose contact with the outside world. The next step may be to kill people, and to throw them into the sea too much, and then leave the looted ships at sea…

For example, in 1992, the Baltimar Zephyr, which was 150 miles north of Jakarta in Indonesian waters, was attacked by pirates. The pirates killed the captain and co-pilot, and threw three seamen into the sea, stole several hundred dollars and fled. , Leave the ship on the sea…

Some pirates choose to use the ship a second time. After the pirates finished the robbery, they killed all the people on the ship, then took the ship to the old nest to remodel it, and then sold it with a new appearance and new identity. In this way, this ship seems to have evaporated, also known as the “ghost ship”.

In 1995, the cargo ship Anna Sierra traveling in the waters of Thailand was unfortunately attacked by pirates. The ship was quickly repainted and refitted by the pirates, and was finally driven to the North Sea. The location was found only after the crew was rescued.

I lost it before retiring…


Most ships in Southeast Asia were looted during their journey. As for the reason, the location of the sea area and its terrain are related.

For example, the Strait of Malacca, where 70% of the pirate incidents in Southeast Asia have occurred, is shaped like a funnel, gradually narrowing from the wide northwest to the southeast. The narrow part is no more than one mile wide, and there are many islands and reefs at the southeast end of the strait. So far,Avoiding dense reefs generally slows down, and this is a good time for piracy.

The end of this funnel is Singapore and Indonesia’s Lione Islands▼

Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago is located in this narrow area. The islands are full of plants, and there are many narrow waterways and coral reefs between the islands. Fishermen live on the islands, which can be described as an ideal hiding place before the pirate attacks.

One ​​of the small islands, I don’t know how many island owners live in this sea area

(Picture: shutterstock@Prasenja)▼

In contrast, pirates in other regions, such as pirates in West African waters, in order to reduce the difficulty of committing crimes, the main targets of crimes are ships anchored in ports.

Responding to pirates

Pirates, as a “non-traditional security threat”, have caused great damage to the national security and social stability of Southeast Asia.

First of all, pirate attacks pose a threat to personal safety, noJust the crew, and the ordinary people on board. Second, rampant piracy has had a negative impact on the shipping industry in Southeast Asia. The shipping industry has become an important industry in some coastal countries and regions in Southeast Asia. Rampant piracy has affected the reputation of Southeast Asian ports. In severe cases, it may also lead to the closure of Southeast Asian international waterways, which will inevitably dissuade some customers. Finally, the pirate group indirectly undermined the political stability of Southeast Asia by bribing government officials to breed corruption.

May make shipping diverted, but it’s impossible to bypass Southeast Asia

(shipping map)▼

Although it is deeply disturbed, the problem of piracy is actually a difficult situation for the Southeast Asian government.

Currently, international anti-piracy measures mainly include international legal frameworks and international cooperation practices. In terms of legal frameworks, they are mainly based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1988 Suppression of Endangering Maritime Navigation The Safe Unlawful Acts Convention and its amendments are used as the legal basis for anti-piracy; and at the level of international cooperation practice, intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations International Maritime Organization will carry out collective anti-piracy actions, and commercial organizations such as marine insurance companies will also cooperate with each other. Fight against pirates.

However, these existing international legal systems have limited effects in Southeast Asia. Although the above-mentioned laws establish combating piracy as an obligation of all contracting states, it does not establish any special agencies or international organizations or specific standards for combating piracy.

Therefore, the problem of piracy in Southeast Asian countries must be solved by themselves, but cooperation between countries is also necessary. As Singapore’s former President Chen Qingyan said, “A single country’s actions are not enough to deal with these threats. The ocean is indivisible, and maritime security has no borders.”

Singapore, where he is located, is also the most active in the fight against piracy among Southeast Asian countries. After all, Singapore is the jewel of Malacca, and it is convenient for them to collect tolls if the pirates are eliminated.

As a shipping hub throughout Southeast Asia

The biggest beneficiary of the fight against piracy is obviously Singapore▼

In 1992, Singapore reached an agreement with Indonesia and Malaysia to carry out joint operations against piracy. The representatives of the three countries meet every year to discuss the issue of enhancing the security of the waterway. The respective naval and police forces have also established exchange networks, organized joint patrols, and jointly went to sea to fight piracy and so on. In 2001, Singapore and Indonesia also reached a new agreement allowing each other to hunt down pirates in their own waters and expand crew rights.

The cooperation carried out by individual countries has led ASEAN as a whole to attach importance to piracy strikes. More coastal countries with frequent piracy attacks have established cooperative military patrol mechanisms through clever talks to strengthen the exchange of relevant maritime security intelligence and information between each other.

But at present, it is still difficult for Southeast Asia to basically eradicate pirates.

First, these countries are underdeveloped economies, and most countries have relatively low defense budgets; second, the shipping industry accounts for different proportions of the industrial structure of different countries, which also means that countries have different enthusiasm for combating piracy, such as Singapore and The contrast between guerrilla and not attacking Indonesia is caused by the different relative values ​​of the shipping industry.

Pirate, pirate, when will you only appear in film and television works?


[1] Deng Yanyan. Research on piracy in Southeast Asia since the 1980s[D]. Yunnan Normal University, 2006.< /sp