JULY 15, 2013 — The Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that seven Bangladeshi seafarers held hostage on the MV Albedo are still alive.
The Ministry gave the news in a statement reported by local media.
MV Albedo sank during heavy weather on the night on Saturday, July 6. It had been held by armed Somali pirates since November 12, 2010. Although the ship suffered significant mechanical and structural issues, the 15 man crew on board the MV Albedo were kept on board by their armed captors.
The ship sank in relatively shallow water and EU Naval Force Maritime Patrol Aircraft sighted two life boats on a Somali beach approximately 14 miles north of its position. No members of the MV Albedo crew or pirates were sighted in or near the lifeboats.
“When the vessel got in to difficulty, we believe that pirates from another nearby pirated vessel, FV Naham 3, (which is currently astern of the Albedo), made attempts to move the MV Albedo hostages to FV Naham 3,” said a statement issued by by the Secretariat for Regional Maritime Security, Somali Contact Group on Counter Piracyand Maritime Security (Kampala Process). “Unfortunately, the status of the crew of MV Albedo remains uncertain at this time.”
The Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign affair says that the crew is alive and “is keeping close contacts, and liaising with all concerned for the speedy release and safe return of Bangladeshi crews to the country.”
In addition to the Bangladeshis, other crew members come from from India, Sri Lanka, Iran and Pakistan
Bangladesh’s bdnews24.com quotes a ministry media release as saying that concerned authorities in Malaysia were approached as the ship owner is a Malaysian national, but that “following a series of meetings and interactions with the Malaysian side, Malaysian authorities informed that they were unable to use their good offices as the Malaysian owner had already abandoned the ship.”
The Equasis data base shows the Albedo’s registered owner is Majestic Enrich Shipping SDN, of Penang, which is also the ship manager and ISM manager and appears to be a single-ship company.
According to published sources the Majestic Enrich Company was incorporated on January 25, 2008 as a private limited company under the name of Majestic Enrich Sdn Bhd in Malaysia by Iranian shipping executives and on April 3 of that year changed its name to Majestic Enrich Shipping Sdn Bhd.
An EU Navfor photograph of Albedo prior to its sinking shows both lifeboats still on board and containers on deck carrying the marking of sanctioned Iranian shipping line IRISL.