Pirates hijack cargo vessel in Maldivian waters

A foreign cargo vessel has been hijacked by Somali pirates in Maldivian waters, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has confirmed.

The Bolivian-flagged vessel was hijacked about 190 nautical miles northwest of Hoarafushi island in Haa Alif Atoll, said MNDF Spokesperson Major Abdul Raheem.

The MNDF have dispatched defence vessels to the scene of the hijacking. The vessel was identified on Somalia Report as the Iranian-owned MV EGLANTINE, with 23 crew members on board. The vessel, which has previously been named the Bluebell and the Iran Gilan, is owned by Darya Hafiz Shipping.

“Since it is a hijacking it is possible that the pirates will be armed. I cannot give further details on the mission. There are factors to be considered before going to a direct confrontation or rescue,” said Major Raheem. Foreign authorities have been asked for assistance, he confirmed.

The attack occurred this morning and was reported to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) station on Villigili at 2:30pm.

Though acts of piracy have been reported near the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Monday’s attack is the first to happen in Maldivian waters.

The Maldives is situated at a strategic intersection of sea trade routes, and a significant amount of global maritime traffic passes through or near the country’s northern atolls.

The Maldives’ government first expressed concern over the growing piracy threat in 2010 after small vessels containing Somali nationals began washing up on local islands. The castaways were given medical treatment and incarcerated while the government negotiated their repatriation.

Last week, the 40 Somali castaways in custody of the Maldives’ authorities refused to return home despite arrangements that were made for their safe repatriation.

The government had identified and obtained passports for the detainees and arranged a charter flight for their return to Somalia said a senior government official who worked on the case, but was unable to deport them against their will.

Refugees cannot be repatriated without consent under international conventions to which the Maldives is signatory, leaving the Maldives no legal recourse but to sign international conventions on the rights of refugees and migrant workers and their families and accept the Somali nationals as refugees.

In a special report on piracy in December 2010, Minivan News cited a European piracy expert who noted that increased policing of waters at a high risk of piracy was forcing pirates deeper and deeper into the Indian Ocean.

“We believe that this trend is due to the fact that the pirates are following the vessels – as merchant ships increase their distance from Somalia in order to feel ‘safer’, the pirates follow them resulting in attacks much farther east than ever before,” she said.

Concerns about rising piracy have also been expressed by yachting interests in the Maldives.

An American luxury passenger line en route to the Seychelles in January was stranded in the Maldivian waters due to “piracy risk”, while the passengers departed to the Seychelles through airline flights.

Secretary General of Maldives Association of Yacht Agents (MAYA), Mohamed Ali, told Minivan News at the time that the passenger line had arrived on December 29 and was scheduled to leave the same day after a brief stop near Male’.

However, he said the cruise captain had decided not to leave with the passengers on board due to “security reasons”, as there have been several attacks by pirates near the Seychelles.


24 thoughts on “Pirates hijack cargo vessel in Maldivian waters”

  1. more mdp stunts. their hijacking ships now. anything to win an election.

  2. Hi yasir!
    Just tell us: where does it hurt? more at the forhead or somewhere deeper inside?

  3. All vessels at strategic locations in throughout the country has been brought to Male' for an emergency situation that may arise from the people towards this illegitimate government!Our waters remain unprotected while law enforcement agencies are busy protecting Waheed and his allies.

  4. Return those Somalians immediately. They could be pirate ambassadors come to maldives to establish a base in maldives where they can operate. Send them back!

  5. Its not an MDP or any other political party's stunt... Its a real case of piracy in Maldivian waters.

    Any mobile or fixed station equipped with an Inmarsat terminal will recieve this alert at the time of its transmission if the terminal is logged on to any of the four ocean regions.

    MV EGLANTINE was pirated in the morning and the Search and Rescue Operations Center in Villigli was aware of the situation at 14:30 with some hours of reception delay!

    Either the inmarsat terminal is not logged on or the watchstanders are careless in monitoring the terminal might have caused this delay!!

  6. kalaymen konmeh kahmeh tehreayah politics vahdaahtih ! Den tihen kiyaagen deh baih mieehun tahlaa fohlhaa. Earun hunaaniy rahgalah. I am Sick of politics ! Don't you guys have brains. You all are wasting your time accusing each other with baseless alligations. If the current situation go like this within a few years we will be next Somalia in Asia. Think about this brothers and sisters, We are living in a very vulnerable Country. World economy is going down. Our economy is very much dependent on Tourism ( indeed very fragile industry). Almost everythigs are imported. If political violence go on it will hurt our own economy. We have very huge national debts. Most of us live on Extravagant lifestyle.We should learn to solve our problems in a peaceful manner instead of following our own lusts. We should learn to respect each others. Lets love and forgiveness prevail. We shouldn't really behaind those corrupt politicians Who use ofensive language. Whoever it maybe. . We should stop blindly following Our leaders. Famous Physics Scienctist Albert Eiensten once said ' Politics is the Cancer of the Society '. Families are breaking, Once peaceful Islands torn apart because of this disease.

  7. 41 Somalians now in our country are castaways of ex Pirates. Govt must find a solution and repatriate them as soon as possible.

    Guys please dont politicise the hijack its nothing to do with MDP or Waheed's Govt. We are in a very dangerouse cross roads of pirate infested waters. The pirates operate so near to our waters and soon may hijack one of our resorts and will lead to an economic disaster., We all must unite to safe guard our country.

  8. the pirated ship has moved out of Maldivian EEZ as of 0852 this morning. Maldives National Defence Force does not have adequate resources to tackle issues of piracy, drug/arms smuggling, poaching and terrorism. Maybe we should all pressure the concerned authorities to allocate more resources to counter these issues. But then again, it is very likely that our economy in its current state cannot afford such resources. It costs more than 10000 MRF per hour to simply fuel a ship the size of CGS Huravee. So, maybe it is best for us to seek foreign assistance through diplomacy to combat issues such as this

  9. We must repatriate the pirates immediately. People who violate the visa are also deported.

  10. Baaghee Waheed's government will not have a clue about what to do with the Somali castaways or the vessel captured in the Maldivian EEZ by pirates.

    He should quit and allow more capable people to sort out the mess.

  11. Why coast guard do nothing and where is Diego Garcia support or Indian Navy?All piracy it is political game and regulated by top V.I.P. persons around the globe/

  12. This has been brewing since 2007.
    Yasir was given the task of handling this.
    But instead of attending to it he joined them and started bringing them slowly and slowly.
    By now they have a good number enslaved at Dhoonidhoo Yasir is using them as and when he wants. He is the key personnel here!
    Yasir is getting a fat share of booty and is using this dirty money to buy condoms and beer and whiskey that is being planted in all MDP rally sites!
    Baghee Waheed be aware! Yasir is the key!
    Get rid of Yasir as fast as you can if you do not want to be the next Anni!

  13. This is serious concern.

    Somalians have have a hive at Dhoonidhoo.

    They are slaves there and anyone can make use of these slave who would do anything.

    It is understood this government had deployed them to carry the stuff removed from MDP raalhugandu rally site to be stored at Dhoonidhoo! Stunning!

    Coast Guard top brass would know how to use them for sure! They would know to use weapons and could be used for many things including piracy!

    In Nasheed's government there was no use for them and it was trying to deport these people to where they belonged.

    Maldives, a Police State and now; this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alarming!

  14. Yasir is the key here!
    Since 2007, Yasir was given the job of handling the Somalian arrival situation.
    What he did was to feed them and take care of them at Dhoonidhoo!
    Now he is using them for piracy within Maldivian waters and it is hard to say for what he would use them next!
    Perhaps get rid of Baghee Waheed at the call of Mr. X.
    Good job Yasir! Keep it up boy!

  15. Somali pirates have been a menace to your neighbour Seychelles for the last 3-4 years now and 20-or-so % of it's prison capacity is occupied by detained pirates whom some have been repatriated to serve their sentence back in Somalia or simply released due to lack of evidence. So far none have refused to go home or asked for political asylum, but sooner or later they will. Somali refugees have become a major headache for many European nations as they cannot be repatriated despite having their applications declined, this due to UN conventions about human rights. In Norway there is a known Somali offender who has several hundred criminal offences on his merit list but cannot be sent home despite not having the right to stay in Norway. Quite a dilema I dare say. You certainly have been thrown a hot potato there. I am myself from Seychelles and watch the situation in dispair as the authorities have to rely on foreign naval aid to act as a preventive means against piracy. NATO, US, Indian and even Chinese forces are patrolling the waters around the islands and I guess soon they'll also be sending forces to Maldives.

  16. Maldivian National Defense Force will no tbe able to defend the nation nor the heads of the state. Mohamed Ameen got beaten to death. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was inside a cover of a washing machine on 3 November 1988. Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign under a police mutiny on 7 Feb 2012. Thank God they didn't join the pirates like they joined the mutinying police. MNDF "motto is If you can't beat them join them"

  17. Some of your Tuna boats could be next>>would that wake your 'government' up???

  18. Maldives resort workers also have some more to add to the story..
    Here is the linke:


  19. JJ wtf are you doing?? You should update this article till the case is suspended or closed..

  20. you should update this news, the named ship was released by Iranian Navy special troops in a successful anti-hijack operation on 2nd April.


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