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Somali pirates contact hijacked Bangladeshi ship owner

Published : 20 Mar 2024 10:32 PM

The Somali pirates who hijacked Bangladeshi-flagged MV Abdullah on March 12 contacted the owners of the vessel for the first time on Wednesday. 

"The pirates have initiated contact through a third party. An environment for discussions is now being established," said Mehedul Karim, CEO of KSRM Group.

"We will now move forward to secure the release of the hostages," he added.

People familiar with the developments believe the pirates may demand a ransom now that the contact has been initiated. Negotiating could lead to an agreement that secures the release of the ship and its crew. 

Captain Shakhawat Hossain, general secretary of the Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers' Association said, "The initiation of contact is a positive development, as it ends a period of uncertainty.

"The pirates have likely made or will make their demands known, and an agreement will be reached between them and the ship owners. The quicker the negotiation, the sooner the crew will be released."

The ship owners said they had already begun preparing various negotiation processes through mediators before the pirates made the first contact. 

On 12 March, pirates hijacked the Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Abdullah 600 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean. 

Within three days, the ship, with its crew, was taken to the coast of Somalia.

BSS adds: KSRM authorities, owner of the hijacked Bangladesh-flagged cargo ship MV Abdullah, 

are taking preparation to start talks with Somali pirates who contacted them for the first time after taking control of the ship with 23 crew members on board on March 12.

"We will start talking with the pirates at our convenient time as they contacted us through a third party this afternoon for the first time," said Mizanul Islam, media advisor of KSRM Group that owns the ship MV Abdullah.

Talking to BSS, he said as the contact has been established, negotiation can be started at any convenient time to rescue the crew members as well as the ship.

"We are hopeful regarding solving the crisis through discussion," he added.