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Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Hijacked ship heads towards Somalia

Fate of 26 Bangladeshis unknown, pirates yet to contact authorities for ransom; website report claims 547 on 23 vessels from different countries taken hostage

The photo is from the website of European Union Naval Force-Somalia, which says the ship is Bangladesh-flagged MV Jahan Moni that has been hijacked in the Arabian Sea .

The fate of 26 abductees of the Bangladeshi ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea on Sunday remain uncertain, as the Bangladesh authorities could not contact them until yesterday afternoon.

The pirates did not contact any authority or make ransom demand.

MV Jahan Moni, spotted in the Arabian Sea some 1,100 nautical miles off the Somali coast, started heading for the coast at a speed of 10 nautical mile an hour at 4:00pm, said the Mercantile Marine Department of Bangladesh that is monitoring the ship via satellite.

The vessel is carrying 25 crewmembers and the wife of its chief engineer.

Brave Royal Ship Management, the operating company of the vessel, said it received a message from the ship's security cell at about 3.30pm on Sunday. The message read the ship had come under pirate attack.

The pirates now hold 23 vessels including the Bangladeshi ship and 547 hostages, says the website of European Union Naval Force. However, The Daily Star could not independently confirm the information.

"We got the same message for the second time at about 4.30pm and stayed in contact with the crew members until 5.30pm. We lost contact after that," said Meherul Karim, General Manager of Brave Royal Shipping Management.

Meherul said the pirates might demand ransom after taking the ship to the Somali coast.

The vessel carrying 43,150 tonnes of nickel was on its way to Greece from Indonesia through the Suez Canal. It anchored at the Singapore port for refuelling before heading for Greece, shipping ministry officials said.

Captain Habibur Rahman, principal officer of Mercantile Marine Department, said they were able to locate the ship via satellite every 15 minutes.

The Bangladesh government has contacted several international agencies that combat sea piracy.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said, "We want to rescue the crew and the ship through negotiation with the pirates. But it might take a few days since the ship is likely to reach the African coast after four days."

He said the pirates did not demand anything until now.

"We are concerned about the security of the sailors," said Shajahan.

"Somali pirates hijacked 31 ships this year but did not kill anyone. I hope the sailors could be rescued within four days," the minister said.

Government officials are in constant touch with the family members of the abductees, he said.

The prime minister has asked the foreign ministry to contact with the authorities of the countries concerned to rescue the ship.

Somali pirates are making tens of millions of dollars in ransom capturing ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, although the Sunday's hijack happened nearly 3,000 kilometres (1,864 miles) east of Somalia.

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Is it believable that the allied forces led by America can't subdue these pirates? The diplomacy behind indulging these pirates by the super powers is yet to be understood by the common people like me.

: M.H.Rahmatullah

Somalia had been suffering from the terrorism of Islami extremists who are killing people to establish Islami Shariah. The Islami Shariah extremists lost connection from outside world but they need money. To income money, they are pirating in this way. It is the same that Taleban people cultivated heroine and sumuggled to other countries. There is no solution unless Islami Shariah extremists are eliminated.

: Kazi Firoz


  • sam
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 08:02 AM GMT+06:00 (270 weeks ago)

    Bangladesh navy should send war ship also should ask arab world

  • ali syed mohammad
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 08:47 AM GMT+06:00 (270 weeks ago)

    This is strange that the pirates took control of the vessel from Indian coast. Somali pirates may not have entered Indian water to take control of the vessel at 5 day travel distance. It have some other issue is my guess.

    Anyway, our Govt. must take all initiative to rescue our officers & Crew. Remember, the flag and crew are Bangladeshi, this is less likely to be a major issue in world affairs.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 10:33 AM GMT+06:00 (270 weeks ago)

    This time the country is in international news as one of our merchant ships have fallen prey in the hands of Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea. This is the first such occurrence involving our ships and we do not have the technical expertise to handle and negotiate with such armed bands ready for any eventuality. Naturally, we are concerned.

    We are a peaceful nation and we have a clean slate in the conduct of international relations. We have only friends, no enemies. I believe, through negotiations, we can get back our people and the ship with its contents. I want to further believe that the Somalis who perpetrated the crime in high seas will realize their mistake and will resolve the problem amicably and expeditiously. We sit with our fingers crossed and in prayers for our countrymen in peril.

  • Sirajul Islam
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 10:51 AM GMT+06:00 (270 weeks ago)

    Piracy off the Somali coast has been a threat to international shipping recently, and at last, were a victim of this menace. Powerful countries act militarily when they are a victim, but this is clearly not an option for us. As the piracy off the coast of Somalia is caused in part by illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste in Somali waters by foreign vessels that have severely constrained the ability of locals to earn a living and forced many to turn to piracy, it should be dealt otherwise. But, now, we should use our diplomats, and the private services that have developed so far to negotiate deals to rescue the ship immediately, and the people on board MV Jahan Moni safely.

  • afreen
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 11:17 AM GMT+06:00 (270 weeks ago)

    The country should fight with that pirates utilizing the navy crews.

  • Abul monjur
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 01:08 PM GMT+06:00 (270 weeks ago)

    Government have to take step now to rescue that ship.So we hope that they would do it immediately.





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