The hijacked Indian Dhow ‘Al-Kausar’ was released on 11 April 2017 along with its cargo and two of its crew members. The remaining of its eight crew members were released on 12 April 2017.
The vessel was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Socotra island on 1 April 2017. It was then taken to the port of Hobyo, which lies on the eastern coast of Somalia. All the ten crew members who were aboard the ship were held captive.
• To monitor the situation, the Indian navy deployed its vessel operating in the Gulf of Aden for Anti-Piracy Patrol to the eastern coast of Somalia. The ship was also alerted to be prepared for any other emergency operation if required.
• Amidst this, the owner of the ship initiated negotiations with the hijackers for the safe release of the ship, its cargo and crew members.
• All the inter-government agencies maintained a close watch and effective coordination during the progress of negotiations.
• With the success of the negotiations, the dhow along with its cargo was released on 11 April 2017.
• While two of its crew were released along with the ship, the remaining were released a day later.
• The Mayor of Hobyo, Somalia formally handed over the vessel to the Indian Navy on 13 April 2017.
Following this, the Indian registered vessel was guided to the international waters by the Indian Navy ship that was deployed for the operation and after conducting a full medical check-up of the crew members and providing necessary supplies, the ship resumed its anti-piracy patrol operations.
The entire process got immense support from Somalian Security Forces, as they not only positioned armed guards on the ship off the Hobyo harbour but also arranged search parties to locate the remaining crew ashore.
When: 11 April 2017