Release of hostages in such short time is unprecedented: Khalid

State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury
File photo

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury today said that it is unprecedented to rescue hostages from hijackers in such a short period of time and said active efforts of everyone in the global maritime sector and Bangladesh’s ministry of foreign affairs, Directorate of Shipping and the international maritime wing made possible the release of Bangladesh owned ship MV Abdullah from Somalian pirates.

He said the whole nation is very happy as the crew members of hijacked Bangladeshi cargo vessel MV Abdullah, who were held hostage by Somali pirates, were released on Pahela Baishakh.

“We are happy as we have been able to get them released on the first day of Bangla New Year. Not only their (crew members’) relatives but the whole nation is very happy today,” he told journalists at his official residence in the city’s Minto Road here.

Shipping department director general commodore Mohammad Maksud Alam was present on the occasion, said a press release.

Earlier, Somali pirates released hijacked Bangladeshi cargo vessel MV Abdullah and its all 23 crew members after keeping them hostage for 32 days.

All 23 crew members of MV Abdullah are safe and they are now en route to the UAE, he added.

Speaking about the release of crew members in exchange of ransom, the state minister said, “We have been hearing about the ransom since the beginning. But we have no involvement with it and we do not have such information”.

Khalid extended his sincere thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Shipping, International Maritime Wing, European Naval Force, Indian Navy and Somali Police as all of them cooperated in this regard.