April 24, 2024, 8:13 am

Hostage ‘MV Abdullah’, sailors will be free before Eid; Hopes ship owner

  • Update Time : Wednesday, March 27, 2024
  • 13 Time View
Photo: Collected

Desk Report:

The European Maritime Force is keeping a close watch on the Somali pirates who took the Bangladeshi flagship MV Abdullah hostage from the Indian Ocean. At the same time, the Somali police gave an ultimatum to release the cargo ship with Bangladeshi hostages.

The pirates have “no option but to surrender”, ‍says the police department in the autonomous region of Puntland. “This area is considered as a pirate sanctuary.”

In such an uncertain and critical situation, the owner of the shipping line started negotiating the release of the ship with the sailors. The vessel is owned by Chattogram-based top industrial conglomerate Kabir Group’s subsidiary SR Shipping. The owner hopes that “it will be possible to free the 23 sailors held hostage by Somali pirates before Eid-ul-Fitr”.

After being captured by pirates, the sailors of the MV Abdullah were held at gunpoint in a cabin. It is learned that the pirates have not physically abused the sailors so far. However, they are forcing the hostages to comply with their words at gunpoint.

There is “positive progress” in the ongoing talks between the officials of SR Shipping and the Somali pirates, ‍said Mizanul Islam, the spokesperson and media advisor of the industry group.

Read more: Hostage MV Abdullah under surveillance: EU naval force

He added that although it was an informal communication, the pirates “responded well”. They allow our sailors to stay in their own cabins, participate in routine maintenance of the ship, and even communicate with family members. These are very positive signs. Basically, the pirates are treating our sailors well during the negotiations.

“The bandits will contact (for ransom) – we have made all preparations in advance assuming this. After receiving their phone call, we started the discussion after confirming that it was from the pirates,” Mizanul Islam said.

Stating that they want to resolve this crisis “peacefully” and ensure the return of the sailors to the country, the official said, “We hope that the sailors can be rescued in a healthy condition before Eid.”

Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers’ Association (BMMOA) Secretary General Captain Shakhawat Hossain said that all sailors of MV Abdullah are healthy and safe. “Even if such a negotiation process takes a long time, if the owners make strong efforts, it will be possible to rescue them in a short time,” he added.

Meanwhile, A BBC report mentions that those pirates (who took the ship and sailors hostage) are “under pressure” from the international navy and the Somali police.

Somalia’s Nugal region police commander Mohammad Ali Ahmed said the ship is off the coast of the Jifal area. Operations are underway to cut off all communication of the pirates so that they do not get help from outsiders.

At this time, this police commander mentioned the presence of naval forces of different countries in the sea, who are keeping an eye on the hijacked ships.

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