Insurance premiums have been an issue among Indonesian ship owners who are taking preventive measures after a series of kidnappings and maritime attacks in the region.
Ship owners have been hiring former members of the navy or military as armed security personnel to protect vessels against pirates or hijackers, according to an online report by Channel News Asia
However, some shipping companies have been discouraged to use these armed guards due to higher costs and extra insurance premiums, the report said.
“For shipowners, the issue is about cost, you need more cost for this kind of embedded security guards,” the report quoted Alman Helvas Ali, researcher at the Indonesian Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies, as saying.
Channel News Asia
said the Indonesian Shipowners Association has a protection and indemnity fund to cover areas beyond the normal insurance coverage, including ransom money paid to hijackers and kidnappers.
This gives Indonesian vessels protection to some extent, the report said.
Many vessels are implementing their own security measures following the recent spate of hijacking and kidnapping cases involving the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) that is based in the southern Philippines.
The ASG has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion targeting Filipinos, Indonesians, Malaysians and other nationalities including westerners.
Last month, the ASG kidnapped 14 Indonesians, 10 of whom were recently released.
Earlier this week, the terrorist group released a video that showed the beheading of a Canadian captive.