Tuesday, August 8, 2006

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

Pirates of the Malacca Strait: Lloyd's Curse

One of the low-level globalization stories that occasionally bubbles to the surface is the apparent difficulty of combating piracy in the sea lanes.

Which makes this Financial Times story by John Burton so interesting:

One of the world’s busiest and most hazardous shipping routes was yesterday declared to be winning its fight against piracy when Lloyd’s, the shipping insurer, dropped its war risk designation for the Malacca Strait.

Lloyd’s surprise decision, which will cut insurance costs for shipping lines using one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, came a year after the insurer incensed the shipping industry and regional governments by imposing the rating.

The Malacca Strait came to be regarded as among the world’s most dangerous sea lanes after a surge in piracy attacks after 1998, as the Indonesian economy deteriorated and Aceh rebels stepped up their military campaign.

However, the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks global piracy, said recently that attacks in the area had fallen to their lowest level since 1999. Lloyd’s said there had been a “significant improvement” in security along the 900km strait as Singapore and Malaysia increased naval and air patrols.

posted by Dan on 08.08.06 at 05:00 PM


Would it be inappropriate to suggest that pirates in that part of the world may have been significantly affected by the 2004 Tsunami?

posted by: rosignol on 08.08.06 at 05:00 PM [permalink]

This calls to mind The">http://"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crimson_Permanent_Assurance">The Crimson Permanent Assurance

posted by: Mitchell Young on 08.08.06 at 05:00 PM [permalink]

Ugh, apologies for the botched link.

posted by: Mitchell Young on 08.08.06 at 05:00 PM [permalink]

Malacca Inn !!

One of my cousins is the captain of a cargo ship. Pirates are definitely an occupational hazard in some waters. They can come on board with small boats, surround a ship and rob some of it. Even if distress signals were sent out, the complicated nature of shipping ownership (quite often owned by Norway or Greece, but carrying a Panama flag, with crews from Third World countries like India) means that often local navies aren't too willing to intervene even if they could, especially in international waters. SOme items are more amenable to theft than others, of course.

He told me a story of how his ship (which carried a large cargo of grain) was once seized in Liberia by rebels aligned with Charles Taylor. The British and the Indian navy kept on passing the buck to each other. In the end, Charles Taylor's wife came on board the ship and said that the grain should be given out to the poor in neighboring villages. I don't believe they had a proper dock for taking the grain and the quantity was so huge that it took weeks to unload and distribute, while the ship was still detained !!

posted by: erg on 08.08.06 at 05:00 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?