Eight pirates arrested after reaching coast with ransom: Somali media

MV Abdullah

Somali pirates have freed Bangladeshi ship MV Abdullah along with its 23 crew members, around 32 days after it was held hostage by the pirates from the Indian Ocean.

The pirates left the ship with ransom at around 12:08 am local time on Saturday. Now the country’s police have apprehended at least eight pirates on the East Coast of Puntland, a federal state in Northern Somalia, reports news media Garowe Online.

"A high-ranking officer from Puntland Police Force informed Garowe Online that they have apprehended 8 members of the pirate group holding the Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Abdullah. It has not been confirmed whether the ransom money paid to the pirates was recovered during the operation," reports the Somali media.

The pirates captured the MV Abdullah ship on 12 March. After changing the ship’s location several times, the pirates anchored it one and half nautical miles off the Godvojiran coast in Somalia.

The release of the ship came following a successful handover of ransom from the Ship’s owning company, KSRM Group, to the pirates.

A crew member, who witnessed the payment from the deck, shared the experience with his family members. He said a ransom-filled bag was airdropped in the sea from a plane and the pirates picked it up  from the water.

The ship was freed along with the crew members after eight hours of the payment, he added.  

Garowe reported that the eight pirates were caught by the police immediately. Puntland police, however, did not mention anything about the arrest on its website.

Earlier on 17 March, the Puntland police through its website informed that two were arrested on suspicion of involvement with the hijacking.