May 27, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: 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 yesterday.

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.

Talking to BSS this afternoon, he said the latest position of the ship was confirmed by a global shipping source that is monitoring its movement.

The ship is owned by SR Shipping Limited, a sister concern of KSRM.

Media advisor of KSRM Mizanul Islam said the vessel has cast anchor about 20 miles from the Somali port.

The pirates have not communicated with the ship owners till now, he added.

MV Abdullah was heading for Al Hamriyah Port of UAE carrying cargo coal from Mozambique’s Maputo port when the pirates attacked.

Of the 23 crew members, 11 are from Chattogram.

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