Sat, 04 Nov 2000

Navy reveals plan to fight piracy

BANGKA, South Sumatra: The security commander of the Navy's Western Fleet, Rear Adm. Putu Ardana, said on Friday the Navy would establish three operation control centers in Riau, North Sumatra, to battle piracy in the busy Strait of Malacca.

The Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau said on Wednesday the strait was the most piracy prone area in the world.

The bureau's data shows that of 294 piracy cases in the world during the first nine months of this year, 90 occurred in Indonesian waters. Of these 90 incidents, 32 took place in the Strait of Malacca.

Ardana said two of the centers have been established in Batam, Riau, and in Belawan, North Sumatra, while the third will be set up at the Bangka Naval Base.

Ardana added that next year 10 speedboats would be made available to the Batam control center, while more would follow at the other two centers.

"We still need speedboats to ensure quick action," he told Antara. (lup)