Somali pirates free Bangladesh-flagged vessel, MV Abdullah

Somali pirates free Bangladesh
AFP

Somali pirates free Bangladesh: After allegedly receiving ransom, Somali pirates have freed the 23-member crew of the Bangladesh-flagged MV Abdullah. Around one month ago, the hijacking occurred off the coast of Somalia while the ship was transporting coal from Mozambique to the UAE.

No third party has verified the pirates’ claims that they collected $4 million (or $5 million) in ransom. Since late November, there has been a significant uptick in the number of hijackings off the coast of Somalia, with over a dozen vessels being attacked.

Since foreign navies that had been monitoring the area have now turned their attention to the Red Sea in response to attacks by the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, this has created a security vacuum off the coast of Somalia, which security analysts say is the cause of the spike.

The World Bank believes that pirates based out of the Horn of Africa made between $339 million and $413 million from kidnapping and ransom demands between 2005 and 2012.

The MV Abdullah and its crew were allegedly released after a ransom of $5 million was paid, according to two pirates who spoke to the news agency Reuters. They claimed to have avoided government forces by first making sure the money was legitimate.

The KSRM Group, the ship’s owner, verified that the crew and vessel were freed after talks. While mentioning that an agreement was done with the pirates, Mizanul Islam of SR Shipping, the group’s maritime branch, declined to disclose any details regarding the ransom sum. He reassured everyone on board that they are completely safe.

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