Somalia Pirates Release Ship Crew Following Ransom Payment, Reuniting Them with Their Families

Somali buccaneers released the MV Abdullah once the Bangladeshi proprietors, KSRM Group, forked over a large sum of money.

Nearly twenty Bangladeshi freighter crew members, who were held by Somali pirates, joyously returned home to a warm welcome from their families after being captive for weeks.

The MV Abdullah, a bulk carrier carrying over 55,000 tons of coal from Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates, was captured by a group of pirates about 550 nautical miles off the Somali coast in March.

This incident occurred amidst an uptick in pirate activity in Somalia, leading naval forces to shift their focus from the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea to protect against attacks by Yemen’s Huthi rebels.

M. Noor Uddin, a crew member who arrived in Chittagong on Tuesday, shared his terrifying experience, saying he believed it was his last day alive when the pirates hijacked the ship.

Uddin was emotional when his two-year-old son hugged him upon his return, recalling how he wished to embrace him one last time when the pirates attacked.

Chief engineer A.S.M Saifuzzaman described their ordeal as a “nightmare,” highlighting the constant threat they faced from the pirates whenever another ship passed by.

Family members eagerly awaited the return of their loved ones at the port, waving Bangladeshi flags as the crew disembarked from the ship.

The MV Abdullah was released by the Somali pirates after a hefty ransom was paid by the Bangladeshi owners, which was dropped in sacks of US dollars onto the vessel.

The exact amount of the ransom was not disclosed by the company, and the vessel was then escorted to its original destination by two ships from the European Union.

The crew received a letter of safe passage from the hijackers, promising that the ship would not be attacked by pirates during its journey to the Dubai port.

Following the first successful case of Somali piracy in 2017, a series of incidents has raised concerns about a possible resurgence of piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Huthi militants have carried out numerous attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, targeting ships they believe are linked to Israel in response to conflicts in Gaza.

Naval forces from various countries have successfully thwarted pirate attacks and rescued hostages, such as the Indian commandos who recaptured the MV Ruen in March.

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