Bangkok: Following the Thai oil tanker MT Orapin 4 which was hijacked by pirates last month, the third attack on Thai ships since April, Thai shipowners have called for weapoms on cargo ships.
Phumin Harinsut, president of the Thai Shipowners’ Association, said the deployment of weapons on civilian cargo vessels is illegal under Thai law, which makes them sitting ducks for pirates. He said the association has been working for over two years to push for law changes to allow weapons on cargo vessels.
However, the Marine Department has reported that the Defense Ministry does not support the idea.
Phumin said the attack on Orapin 4 has also triggered concerns that key shipping routes in the region are once again a popular hunting ground for pirates.
According to the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report, pirate attacks in the Southeast Asian region have increased from 70 in 2010 to 128 in 2013. [09/06/14]