New Delhi: The Indian Navy on Thursday took control of a dhow with 10 crew members, nearly two weeks after the vessel was hijacked by pirates off the island of Socotra in the Arabian sea.
The Indian Navy accepted the Dhow 'Al-Kausar' from the Mayor of Hobyo in Somalia and escorted it into international waters and onward towards its next destination.
The Indian registered dhow was hijacked off the island of Socotra on April 1 and then the vessel was taken to the port of Hobyo, on the eastern coast of Somalia. The 10 crew members were captured and held by pirates.
Following the incident, the Navy had 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 remain standby for any other contingency operations, the Navy said in a statement.
"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 11 Apr 17, and the balance eight crew were released on Apr 12," it said.
The Navy said 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.