Hijacked Bangladeshi ship crew unhurt in Somalia

MV Jahan Moni has 25 Bangladeshi crew and wife of chief engineer on board.

Updated: Dec 13, 2010, 16:31 PM IST

Dhaka: All 26 people on a Bangladeshi ship hijacked by Somali pirates last week are unharmed but confined on board with the vessel now anchored off the coast of the war-torn country, its owners said on Monday.

The MV Jahan Moni, which has 25 Bangladeshi crew and the wife of the chief engineer on board, was captured on Sunday last week 550 kilometres (340 miles) off the coast of Cochin in southern India while sailing to Greece.

Its owners Brave Royal Shipping, based in Bangladesh`s southeastern port city of Chittagong, said they had established contact with the crew late Sunday and "all are now safe but nervous".

"They have been confined to the wheel house of the ship. We talked to the captain, the chief engineer and his wife. They said they have been treated well," Meherul Karim, general manager of Brave Royal, said.

Karim said the ship has been seized by pirates but there has been no demand for ransom yet.

"We are trying to talk to them through different routes," he said.

The vessel anchored along the Somali coast shortly after midnight Friday.

A senior Bangladesh Shipping Ministry official said the government was also using other channels to free the ship and its crew.

"Our first priority is to bring back the lady as soon as possible," the official said on Saturday, referring to the wife of the chief engineer. He asked not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the hijacking.

Bureau Report