Sun, 19 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Previous experience used to rescue MV Abdullah, crew: KSRM

Update : 14 Apr 2024, 19:10

KSRM Group, the owner of MV Abdullah, has claimed that the ship and its 23 crew members were safely released through negotiations with the pirates, using the experience of the 2011 hostage situation involving their ship “Jahan Moni”.

"Our other ship 'Jahan Moni' was hijacked in 2011. It took us a long time to rescue the ship because we lacked experience. However, using that experience, we were able to quickly rescue MV Abdullah this time,” said Meherul Karim, CEO of KSRM Group, at a press conference held at the company's office at 12:00 pm in Chattogram’s city’s Agrabad Goasail Danga on Sunday. 

He added that all the sailors and crew of the ship are safe and sound. No one was harmed. However, when asked about the ransom, Meherul Karim declined to comment.

Earlier on Saturday night around 12 am, the Somali pirates freed the ship along with its 23 sailors. The ship owner confirmed the release of the ship to the Bangladeshi media at 3:45 am. 

Describing the process of rescuing the ship, Meherul said, "We were constantly tracking the ship's position since it was hijacked. We were monitoring where it was being taken from time to time. A few days after the hostage-taking, one of the pirates who could speak English started contacting us. We also started communicating from our side, following all international protocols. This is how MV Abdullah was released after a successful month-long communication."

He added that, "Two days ago, we took videos of each crew member of our ship to confirm their safety. All the rules were followed. There were 65 pirates on the ship. On Saturday around 3 am, the ship's captain informed me that the pirates had disembarked from the ship in a speedboat."

When journalists asked the KSRM CEO about the ransom, he said, "I apologise. I can't tell you anything about any ransom. We have an agreement with everyone on this issue. I can't go out of the agreement.” 

Shahariar Jahan Rahat, Deputy Managing Director of KSRM Group, said at the press conference, "We have to keep some things confidential. We cannot promote piracy." He added that if the amount of ransom money is disclosed, it will be legitimized.

Shahariar said MV Abdullah will reach Dubai on April 19 or 20. The sailors and crew will then return to Bangladesh by flight or ship. He said that the decision on how they will return to the country will be taken after talking to the sailors and crew.

Earlier on Sunday, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said at a press conference that the news and pictures being circulated about ransom are not true. The sailors were released through extensive international pressure and negotiations. It may take 15 to 20 days for them to return.  UNB

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