ঢাকামঙ্গলবার, ২৩শে এপ্রিল, ২০২৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দ

After 8 days, Somali pirates contact owner of hijacked Bangladeshi ship .

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মার্চ ২২, ২০২৪ ১০:১৬ পূর্বাহ্ণ
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Eight days after they hijacked a Bangladesh ship and detained its 23 crew members, Somali pirates contacted the owner of the MV Abdullah on Wednesday for the first time but made no ransom demands, company and government officials said.

Commodore Mohammad Maksud Alam, director general of the Bangladesh Department of Shipping, told journalists that the hijackers allowed preliminary contact.

“The pirates had allowed the [ship’s] captain to contact the home country. They did not behave rudely,” he said.

“Besides, a primary contact has been established with a pirate on board the ship,” Alam said, adding officials were told the crew had necessary provisions.

The pirates seized the Bangladesh-flagged bulk carrier on March 12 in the Indian Ocean off Somalia as it was transporting 58,000 tons of coal from Maputo port in Mozambique to Al Hamriya, a port in the United Arab Emirates. As many as 50 armed men boarded the ship about 500 nautical miles off the Somali coast and forced it to sail to the coast.

The MV Abdullah belongs to the S.R. Shipping Line, which is owned by Bangladesh’s KSRM Group.

Rescue efforts

Meanwhile, Somali police assisted by international navies were preparing to launch an attack against the pirates holding the MV Abdullah, the Reuters news service reported on Monday.

Two days earlier, the Indian Navy rescued 17 crew members on another cargo ship that was seized in December 2023, the Malta-flagged MV Ruen, and arrested 35 pirates, Reuters reported. On Wednesday, an Indian Navy official said the government planned to prosecute the pirates.

The MV Ruen was spotted off the Somali coast on March 14, British maritime security firm Ambrey told Reuters. Indian navy officials said that the pirates had converted Ruen into a mother-ship, using boats to launch attacks on other vessels.

In December 2010, Somali pirates seized the MV Jahan Moni, another ship owned by SR Shipping, and released the crew after more than three months. The Business Standard reported that the crew members were released after a multi-million-dollar ransom was paid.

Waters off the Horn of Africa are notorious for piracy targeting international shipping. Al-Shabaab, the Islamic militant group in Somalia, is known for carrying out such attacks.