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Freed ship Abdullah may reach Dubai on Apr 19

Published : 15 Apr 2024 10:54 PM | Updated : 16 Apr 2024 12:35 PM

Bangladeshi ship MV Abdullah, which was freed by Somali pirates at 3:08 am (BST) on Sunday, will arrive in Dubai either on April 19 or April 20.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said on Monday that it has not been decided yet whether the sailors of the hijacked vessel will return to Bangladesh by ship or plane.

The ship authorities will decide whether they (sailors) will want to continue with the contract or not and how they will return home, he added.

“But I have heard that the ship owners said that the sailors will be flown to Bangladesh if they want. They are probably also working on finding their replacements in that case," he said.

Two ships of the European Union Naval Force have been escorting the Bangladeshi vessel.

The European Union (EU) published the images of two EU warships, escorting MV Abdullah, on its website around 2:00 pm on Monday. 

The pictures show that MV Abdullah was surrounded by the two EU ships on both sides. Besides, three high-speed vessels were also seen patrolling around.

KSR Group deputy managing director Jahan Rahat said that the two EU warships have escorted the Bangladeshi vessel until it reached a safe zone. The members of EU Naval Force also spoke to the crewmembers of MV Abdullah and inquired about their well-being.

According to news agency Reuters, Somali pirates released the hijacked ship, MV Abdullah, and its 23 crewmembers after a $5 million ransom was paid.

"The money was brought to us two nights ago as usual... we checked whether the money was fake or not. Then we divided the money into groups and left, avoiding the government forces," Abdirashiid Yusuf, one of the pirates, told Reuters.

The ship had been released with 

all its crew, he added. Somalia government officials did not respond to a request for comment.

A crewmember, who witnessed the payment from the deck, shared the experience with his family members. He said that a ransom-filled bag was airdropped in the sea from a plane and the pirates picked it up from water. 

The ship was freed along with the crewmembers after eight hours of the payment, he added.  

A family member of another crewmember said that before the payment, the pirates made the crewmembers stand in a line on the deck and aimed their guns at their backs. The hostages were instructed from the plane to raise their hands to confirm their well-being and the ransom was airdropped following the confirmation.  

Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers Association president, Captain Anam Chowdhury said, “The EU warships escorted the Bangladeshi vessel and we also spoke to crews of the hijacked vehicles to update their safety protocols.”

Earlier in 2010, another vessel named MV Jahan Moni, owned by KSRM Group, was hijacked by the Somali pirates. It took 99 days to free the ship from the pirates at that time.

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