MV Abdullah anchored at Garakad coast in Somalia

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Bangladeshi vessel MV Abdullah which was hijacked by Somali pirates with 23 crews on board anchored at Garakad coast near Hobyo port in Somalia at 2.00 pm on Thursday, said Captain Sakhawat Hossain, General Secretary of Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers Association.

The pirates are yet to contact the owner of the Bangladeshi flagged ship owners of MV Abdullah and they did not ask for ransom, he added.

Mizanul Islam, Media Advisor of KSRM, told journalists that the owner of the ship is contacting with a third party insurance company of the ship to bring back the hostage sailors along with the ship.

Mizanul Islam said the sailors of the ship are in good health.

“All efforts are being made to bring back the hostages. The pirates are yet to make any demand to us so far. After taking the ship to a safe zone they many ask for ransom,” Mizanul Islam said.

The pirates took control of the ship on Tuesday. The ship was carrying coal from Mozambique’s Maputo port to Al Hamriyah Port in the UAE around noon.

MV Abdullah is owned by SR Shipping Lines, a sister company of Kabir Steel and Rerolling Mill (KSRM) Group in Chattogram.

Hostage Bangladeshi Sailors are in Good Health
All 23 sailors of hijacked Bangladeshi-flagged cargo ship MV Abdullah are in good health while the government put all efforts to rescue the sailors, Foreign Ministry’s Maritime Affairs Unit secretary Rear Admiral (Retd) Khurshed Alam said here today.

Discussions with various third-party groups are ongoing in a bid to rescue the hijacked ship, he added.

Khurshed Alam was briefing the media after attending an inter-ministerial meeting regarding the hijack at the Foreign Ministry.

He said that Bangladesh government has started work to rescue the ship with all hostage sailors.

However, he said, the pirates who hijacked the Bangladeshi-flagged vessel in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday are yet to make any contact with the government.

“The pirates have not yet made any ransom demands or established contact,” Khurshed said.

Referring the past experience, he hoped that they would be able to release the ship along with the crew safely, without any casualties or damage.

“But, we can’t give any specific timeline to this effect,” he added.

On Previous incident in 2010, a Bangladesh-flagged vessel, MV Jahan Moni was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian sea off the coast of India.

The hostage twenty-five crew members and the wife of chief officer were rescued with the ship after nearly 100 days.

Khurshed said Bangladesh-flagged ship was not in a high-risk zone while incidents of hijacking are not uncommon,

“The pirates managed to hijack it from a distance of 575 nautical miles [from Somali coast],” he said.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers’ Association (BMMOA) General Secretary Md Shakawat Hossain said the hijacked Bangladeshi-flagged ship has anchored 20 miles off the Somali port of Garacad.