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Update: Hijacked Bangladeshi Ship


It has been 23 days since Somali pirates seized control of the Bangladeshi ship MV Abdullah, which had 23 crew members on board.

The owners are now negotiating with pirates to achieve a settlement and secure the release of the sailors on board.


According to the most recent information from the ship owners, maritime administration, and sailors' organisations, they still need to resolve the issue with the pirates.

Nevertheless, they achieved substantial advancements to facilitate a discussion for the secure repatriation of the sailors.


The MV Abdullah was seized by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean on 12 March, and the 23 Bangladeshi crew members on board were taken captive.

Subsequently, the pirates altered their location twice and directed the ship towards the Jefal coastlines of the Gadhavjiran area in Somalia.

Approximately nine days after hijacking the vessel, the pirates established communication with the ship owners via a satellite phone.

The negotiations for the ship's release and her 23 crew commenced afterwards.


The Department of Shipping, a key player in the ongoing negotiations since the hijacking of MV Abdullah, has been closely monitoring the progress of events.

In an exclusive interview, Commodore Mohammad Maksud Alam, the director general of the Department of Shipping, revealed that the differences between the two parties involved in the discussions had significantly decreased.

This indicates a positive trajectory towards achieving a consensus for the secure repatriation of the sailors and the vessel.


The pirates, as is their modus operandi, initially demand a hefty sum as ransom. The owners, however, are diligently working to negotiate this amount down to a more manageable level. The exact figure requested by the pirates remains a mystery, as the owners have chosen not to disclose this information, adding an element of intrigue to the situation.


International news sites reported that the owners of the Bangladeshi vessel MV Jahan Moni had to pay a ransom of USD 4 million to secure the release of the ship and her crew from pirates in 2010. Nevertheless, the owners have not yet acknowledged the exact amount they paid.


The owners of MV Abdullah assert that they are now engaged in negotiations to secure the release of the vessel and its crew members. Nevertheless, decisions have yet to be made.


Mizanul Islam, the media adviser of Kabir Group and owner of MV Abdullah, said tin an interview that they had yet to reach a definitive deal. Nevertheless, they have achieved advancement.

The subsequent stage of the procedure involves transferring the funds to the hijackers in physical currency. The ransom is collected in US dollars.

The pirates refrain from accepting ransom via banks because of the potential for funds to be frozen or delayed. The ransom payment must be delivered to their chosen location and near the vessel.


According to the owners of MV Abdullah, a group of sailors from Bangladesh would be prepared and waiting in the harbour once a deal is reached. Subsequently, these seafarers will request the visa of the first nation that the hijacked ship arrives at. Visas will also be required for the crew members who are being kept prisoner. They said that these procedures had yet to begin.


Captain Anam Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers Association, said that it may need one to two weeks to transport the vessel to the next port, even after establishing a mutual understanding.


On Wednesday, he informed that other steps must be taken after concluding a bargain, including providing the ransom and transporting the vessel to a nearby secure port.

Based on the current developments, the process of freeing MV Abdullah and its personnel would be completed in a shorter period than MV Jahan Moni, which took around 100 days.

However, the crew's ability to return home primarily hinges on the pirates' actions.

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