Ships in the Singapore Strait were boarded by suspected robbers in 31 incidents in 2019 – a four-year high, according to a maritime information sharing centre.
The strait is keenly watched by the marine insurance market.
Nine of the incidents last year involved armed perpetrators, with crew reporting injuries in one case, said the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre.
In two of the cases, crew reported being tied up while two cases involved crew being threatened with a gun or knife.
One of the targets is to obtain scrap metal to sell on the black market.
The Singapore Strait is a 105km long, 16km wide strait between the Strait of Malacca  in the west and the Karimata Strait in the east. Singapore is on the north of the channel and the Riau Islands are on the south.

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