Since the late twentieth century, piracy has returned with a vengeance to the world’s oceans. Worst hit is Southeast Asia where thousands of people have lost their lives at the hands of pirates in the last 25 years. Here, oil tankers, cargo ships, passenger vessels, fishing boats and pleasure yachts all have been targets of ruthless attacks. But who are these modern sea robbers who continue to infest the waters of Southeast Asia? Why have they not been suppressed by the security forces of the region? How serious is the problem for international shipping, for fishermen and for governments?
This book is the first attempt to address these questions in a comprehensive and integrated manner, highlighting the perspectives of both pirates and their victims. Stefan Eklöf carefully investigates each of the main forms of modern Southeast Asian piracy, including the nightly hit-and-run attacks on commercial vessels, well-planned hijackings by international crime syndicates, kidnappingsforransom by Muslim rebels, coastal raids and maritime terrorism. Rich and engrossing in its detail, the book is based on thorough investigations into the current situation (not least original interview material) backed up by extensive historical research among both published and unpublished sources. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the maritime affairs of Southeast Asia or today’s global challenges in maritime security.