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7 Bangladeshi crew alive, shifted to another boat
Sunday, July 14, 2013
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The seven Bangladeshi crew members, who had been abducted from a sinking vessel off Somali coast on July 7, are alive and have been shifted to another hijacked fishing boat by pirates, claims the government.
According to the foreign ministry, the update has been primarily confirmed through London-based Maritime Piracy and Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) that contacted sources in the UN office for Somalia, Nairobi.
In a press release the foreign ministry yesterday said it had learnt that the Bangladeshi crew members of the Malaysian flag vessel MV Albedo that reportedly sank on July 7 off the coast of Somalia were on board before the ship had capsized.
Apart form Bangladesh, the crew of the ship were from India, Sri Lanka, Iran and Pakistan.
But the release of the abductees has become uncertain as the Malaysian authorities informed that they were unable to use their offices since the ship’s owner had already abandoned the vessel.
The foreign ministry said it remained actively engaged with all concerned, both at home and abroad, for speedy release and safe return of the Bangladeshi crew members.
It said the authorities concerned in Malaysia had been approached as the ship owner is a Malaysian national. The high commissioner of Malaysia in Dhaka had also been called at the ministry and she was asked to use their good offices. Bangladesh High Commission in Nairobi had also been instructed to maintain close liaison with the UN office for Somalia.
The ministry has urged the media to refrain from any incorrect information, which might complicate the issue further and undermine the efforts by the government.
As of paying ransom to the hijackers, the foreign ministry noted that as a matter of principle, no government, including the government of Bangladesh, can pay ransom to any such case of piracy.
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