The vessel, MSV Al Rafiquei was hijacked by Somali pirates at 10:30 am on Saturday. But pressurised by some unknown reasons, they had to release the ship by 18:30 pm (IST). All the 16 Indian sailors on board were also released.
SOMALI PIRATES released all the sixteen Indian sailors on board a hijacked vessel off the Somali coast on Saturday night (March 21).
The directorate general of shipping later confirmed that all the sailors are safe. The vessel, MSV Al Rafiquei was hijacked by Somali pirates at 10:30 am on Saturday. But pressurised by some unknown reasons, they had to release the ship by 18:30 pm (IST). The DG also reported that the sailors were beaten up by the pirates before being released. They also snatched away the mobile phones from the sailors, five barrels of petrol and twenty barrels of diesel. Starting from Dubai, MSV Al Rafiquei was about to reach the next port at Mogadishu in Somalia. It was carrying rice, refined oil, wheat and other general cargo. Crossing Gulf of Aden and Somali coast has now become a nightmare for the sailors as incidents of hijacking have increased. In 2008 alone, a number of ships were hijacked. The Gulf of Aden is situated between Yemen on south coast of the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. It is connected to the Red Sea through Bab-el-Mandeb strait in the north-west. But all the Indian sailors on board hijacked ships last year, were released. The Jordan-registered MV Victoria, which had 10 Indian sailors on board, was hijacked on May 17 and released on May 23. Iran’s MV Iran Deyanat, which had three Indian sailors on board, was hijacked on August 22 and released on October 10. Eighteen Indian sailors on board suffered when Hong Kong-registered MV Stolt Valor was hijacked on September 15 and released on November 16.