No contact with Somali pirates, says Bangladeshi officials

Bangladesh is yet to establish any direct contact with Somali pirates who hijacked a Bangladeshi freighter on Arabian Sea.

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2010, 00:26 AM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh is yet to establish any
direct contact with Somali pirates who hijacked a Bangladeshi
freighter on Arabian Sea off Indian coast two days ago with 26
people onboard and continued to steer it to African
coastlines, officials said Tuesday.

"We are not in any contact with the pirates but assume
all 26 passengers onboard, all Bangladeshis are safe," a
senior shipping official said on condition of
anonymity.

Without any further elaboration, he said they were in
touch with concerned international agencies since the pirates
captured Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Jahan Moni, which was
heading to Greece from Indonesia carrying nickels.

A senior official of the enterprise that own the ship
said the vessel was spotted around 850 nautical miles off
Somali coast around 16 hours today as it was heading for the
coastline of the war ravaged lawless East African country.

"It was moving westward at a speed of 10.8 nautical
miles per hour," a report said quoting the official.

It said the shipping company officials were repeatedly
trying to contact the crew over satellite phones, but nobody
responded from the other end and sometimes the on board phone
sounded engaged.

"All the passengers are Bangladeshis and we are
definitely concerned about their safety and we will do
everything for their safety," a foreign ministry spokesman
said.

PTI