HomeWorldAfricaBangladesh cargo ship seized near Somalia

Bangladesh cargo ship seized near Somalia

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Mogadishu, 13 March 2024 (TDI): Pirates have seized a Bangladesh cargo ship near Somalia on March 12. Around 23 crew members have been taken hostage. The ship belongs to Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills of Bangladesh. 

The MV Abdullah ship was sailing from Mozambique’s capital Maputo to the United Arab Emirates with a cargo of 55,000 tons of coal when it was attacked on Tuesday, according to Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills, which owns the vessel.

Details of the attack remain unclear, but reports suggest a group of 15-20 armed pirates boarded the ship in the Indian Ocean, approximately 600 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital.

The company released an audio message from one of the ship crew held hostage, who said that gunmen in two-speed boats approached the vessel and opened fire. Karim said the crew were unharmed, adding that “we are waiting for the next message and call.”

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“We are deeply concerned for the safety of our crew members onboard the MV Abdullah,” said Meherul Karim, Chief Executive Officer of Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills. “Our top priority is their safe return, and we are working tirelessly with authorities to secure their release.”

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The incident serves as a stark reminder of the persistent challenges faced by the ship industry in regions plagued by piracy. Despite significant strides in maritime security in recent years, the threat of piracy remains ever-present, requiring continued vigilance and collaboration among all stakeholders.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) advised caution to other vessels in the area and said that it was investigating the incident. Hijackings off Somalia since December have raised concerns about a resurgence of Indian Ocean raids by opportunistic pirates, coming on top of a separate surge in attacks on ship launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The safe return of the MV Abdullah’s ship crew and the continued security of vital shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean remain paramount concerns. This incident underscores the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to combat piracy in the region and improve maritime security.

 

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