HomeTop StoriesSomali pirates free the Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Abdullah

Somali pirates free the Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Abdullah

Somali pirates have released a Bangladeshi-flagged ship and its 23 crew members after a ransom was reportedly paid.

The MV Abdullah was transporting coal from Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when it was hijacked off the coast of Somalia about a month ago.

The pirates claimed that they received five million dollars, but there is no independent confirmation of this claim.

A spike in hijackings has been reported off the coast of Somalia in recent months.

More than a dozen ships have been targeted since late November.

Security experts say a security vacuum has emerged off the coast of Somalia after foreign navies patrolling the waters turned their attention to the Red Sea, where Yemen’s Houthi rebel group has attacked ships.

Between 2005 and 2012, pirates in the Horn of Africa raked in between $339 million and $413 million by holding crew members hostage and demanding ransoms, the World Bank estimates.

News agency Reuters reported that two pirates told them that a $5 million ransom had been paid for the release of MV Abdullah and his crew.

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“We checked whether the money was fake or not. Then we divided the money into groups and left, evading government forces,” Reuters quoted one of the pirates, Abdirashid Yusuf, as saying.

The ship’s owner, KSRM Group, said the ship and its crew were released after negotiations.

“We have made a deal with the pirates,” Mizanul Islam of SR Shipping, the group’s maritime arm, told AFP news agency.

“We cannot say more about the money,” he said, adding: “The entire crew is safe.”

The ship has since sailed to the UAE, escorted by two warships.

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