Contact Made with Owner of Hijacked Bulker by Pirates

AI generated image of pirates approaching a bulk carrier
Updated Published

Pirates from Somalia, who seized the Bangladeshi-flagged bulk carrier Abdullah last week, have initiated communication with SR Shipping, the ship's owning company, indicating a potential increase in pirate activities near the Horn of Africa. The pirates have yet to demand a ransom for the 23 crew members kidnapped on March 12.

During a press briefing, a representative for SR Shipping stated: “General talks about the ship and the crew members took place. They informed us that all the crew members were safe and sound. They will not be tortured.”

Following indications that international naval forces might attempt a rescue operation similar to a recent successful effort to liberate another hijacked vessel, the pirates have reportedly reinforced the Abdullah and the surrounding shoreline where it is currently anchored.

Informants close to the pirate groups informed Kaab TV, a Somali broadcaster, about the installation of anti-aircraft guns on the vessel and in coastal areas adjacent to it.

This past weekend saw the Indian Navy successfully liberating 17 crew members from another captured cargo vessel, the Malta-flagged Ruen, which was overtaken in December of the previous year. The 35 pirates apprehended during the operation are expected to be prosecuted in India.

According to Reuters, two members of the Somali pirate groups mentioned that they are seizing the opportunity to return to piracy, spurred by the distraction of Houthi attacks further north, after nearly a decade of inactivity. This resurgence in piracy has been noted by several maritime security agencies, reporting an increase in dhows heading out to sea in search of hijacking targets.

BIMCO, the shipowner association, has released new figures indicating that Somali pirates and Houthi forces in Yemen now threaten 13% of global maritime trade.