Hijacked Indian dhow 'Al-Kausar' released

New Delhi [India], Apr 14(ANI): Indian dhow 'Al-Kausar', which was hijacked off the island of Socotra by pirates, on Thursday, was released by the Somalian Authorities to the Indian Navy custody.

'Al-Kausar' was hijacked on April 1. The vessel was taken to the port of Hobyo, on the eastern coast of Somalia and 10 crew members were captured and held by pirates.

The Indian Navy redeployed its ship, operating in the Gulf of Aden for Anti-Piracy Patrol, to the east coast of Somalia to monitor the ongoing situation and remained standby for any other contingency operations.

In the interim, negotiations commenced between the owner and the hijackers for the safe release of the vessel, its cargo and crew. All inter-government agencies maintained a close watch and effective coordination during the progress of negotiations. Based on the outcome of the negotiations, the dhow, along with its cargo and two crew members, were released on April 11, and the other eight crew were freed on April 12.

The Somalian Security Forces also provided support and assistance during this operation with armed guards being positioned on the dhow off Hobyo harbour as well as search parties undertaking operations to locate the balance crew ashore.

The Indian Navy formally accepted the dhow 'Al-Kausar' from the Mayor of Hobyo, Somalia at about 4 p.m. on April 13.

The INS ship deployed for the operation took over the dhow and escorted it into international waters and onward towards its next destination.

The ship further conducted a medical checkup for all the crew members and provided necessary supplies for the onward journey, prior resuming anti-piracy patrol operations. (ANI)