Pirates who hijacked an Indian cargo dhow with 11 crew members on board have moved the vessel to an undisclosed location within the Galmudug waters off the Somali coast until their ransom demands are met, a pirate leader said on Tuesday.
The vessel, Al Kausar , was initially taken to El Hur, near the port of Hobyo in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Galmudug state, but was then moved to avoid approaching security personnel, pirates said.
Pirate leader Aw Kombe said negotiations were ongoing with businessmen in Kismayu over the release of Al Kausar , which was seized on Saturday.
“The traders want the dhow released without [any] ransom [being paid] but my friends say they [will] not release it without [getting] at least some cash,” he added. “They are still discussing.”
The Al Kausar was commandeered in the vicinity of Socotra Island while en route from Dubai to Puntland’s port of Bosasso, according to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates shipping in the Gulf of Aden area. A pirate who gave his name as Aden told over phone from Harardhere, “The pirate leader heard Galmudug forces advancing to attack it. The dhow has now gone far into the ocean but is still in Galmudug waters.”