A cargo ship with 23 crew members on board is hijacked off the coast of Somalia

Bangladesh-flagged bulk carrier
Abdullah Suspected Somali pirates boarded the ship with 23 crew members in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday, about 600 nautical miles east of Mogadishu.

UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it received reports from a “company security officer” of several armed people boarding the vessel and taking control. In a separate note, Ambry, a maritime security specialist, said the operation was carried out from a small boat and a large boat.

One of the hostages, Atiqullah Khan – a senior officer AbdullahHe was able to send a voice message to his wife. According to Bangladeshi media, the pirates were ordered to kill crew members one by one if they were not paid. The letter also stated that the sooner the pirates get the money, the sooner they will release the hostages.

The chief officer was also able to tell his mother that they were all being held captive in a cabin surrounded by 50 pirates on their way to Somalia, about two and a half days away.

The Supramax vessel, built in 2015 for SR Shipping and part of the Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills (KSRM) group in Bangladesh, was carrying coal from Maputo, Mozambique, to Hamriya, UAE.

Embry had previously observed the ship changing course to the southeast and increasing speed, which was later reduced to 1 knot, and also advised other ships to “stay clear of this position.”

The latest UKMTO update stated that the crew was unharmed and that there were 22 unauthorized armed persons on board.

Piracy had been rampant off the coast of Somalia for four years as of 2008, but had been dormant for about five years. Earlier this month, the Maritime Security Center for the Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) reported an unidentified hijacked dhow leaving Somalia with 11 armed people on board. In January, the Liberian flag was raised Lily Norfolk Armed men boarded the ship about 460 nautical miles off Somalia but it was later rescued by the Indian Navy.

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