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November 27, 2008

Indonesian Navy worries rise in piracy due to credit crisis

Indonesia's navy is expecting the global credit crunch to prompt a rise in piracy in Southeast Asia's busy Malacca Strait, AFP quoted a report as saying Wednesday.

The economic turmoil means shipping in the strait between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore -- one of the world's busiest -- will be at extra risk, navy spokesman Sagom Tamboen was quoted as saying by news website Detikcom.

"We predict that with the global crisis, there will be more pirates and illegal activities taking place in the Malacca Strait. Coordinated patrols with Malaysia and Thailand will be maximised," Tamboen said.

He was not quoted as saying why he thought the global economic slowdown would increase piracy.

The maritime corridor, which handles 30 percent of all sea transport globally, has traditionally been a piracy hot spot, but joint patrols have significantly cut attacks in recent years.

In the year to September there were only two pirate attacks in the straits, according to the Malaysia-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB), compared to 38 in 2004 and a peak of 75 in 2000.

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