One coastal tanker is hijacked every two weeks on average in Southeast Asia making it the most dangerous seas, the latest piracy report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has warned.
The IMB says more than half of all sea pirate attacks since the beginning of 2015 have been in Southeast Asia.
A report in the Voice of America quoted Pottengal Mukundan, director of the IMB saying that armed pirates attack small oil ships in the area about every two weeks.
It was a disturbing trend because if firm action is not taken then we expect that the violence will increase and the pirates will get a little more audacious in the kind of targets that they will look for, he said.
Indonesia was named as the country with the highest number of attacks, accounting for almost 40 percent of 2015 attacks, with two vessels hijacked and 19 vessels boarded.
The IMB, which has a piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said 38 piracy incidents were reported in South-East Asian waters in the first quarter of 2015, 21 of which occurred in Indonesian waters.
Many attacks may have gone unreported. Recent meetings between the Indonesian Marine Police and the IMB PRC resulted in positive actions by the Indonesian Authorities which had so far brought incidents down
Vietnam has also seen a notable increase in armed robbery incidents, with eight reports in the past three months alone, specifically in and around Hai Phong and Vung Tau.