MNDF rescues Iranian vessel suspected hijacked

Maldives Coastguard rescued an Iranian fishing vessel in Maldivian territorial waters yesterday, discovering the crew had been deprived of water and food for several days.

Following reports of an Iranian fishing vessel which had drifted into Maldivian waters, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and coastguard began a search for the ship.

MNDF Major Abdul Raheem said the ship was found at around 4.40pm yesterday on the outskirts of Havadhu Atoll.

“They were having engine problems and drifted to the Maldives,” Major Raheem said. “We wanted to give assistance; they had no food or water.”

The twenty crew members, all of Iranian nationality, were also provided with medical assistance.

Major Raheem noted the crew were still in the Maldives. “Our government and Iran’s government are having negotiations to decide when they will be sent back.”

Of the reports that seven of the men found on the vessel were pirates who had highjacked the ship earlier, he said “we cannot say whether they are pirates. They had no identification on them.”

“We conducted a search and found no weapons in the ship,” he added.

But, Major Raheem noted, the vessel’s captain did say his crew had been taken by pirates six months ago. The ship’s owner, who is in Iran, has not had contact with the ship for six months.

The Major said there was no current investigation by the MNDF regarding the case.

MNDF Lieutenant Abdulla Ali said civil aviation craft were used for the search. He said the men were “still in that boat,” but the MNDF is providing them with food and water.

He said the negotiations with Iran were underway to send them back.

Lieutenant Ali added “we can’t say” whether seven of the men took over the ship, but confirmed that the captain of the vessel had said they were highjacked six months ago and the pirates were currently on board the ship.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


9 thoughts on “MNDF rescues Iranian vessel suspected hijacked”

  1. President Nasheed, please dont send them back to Iran, this is a country that has no human rights at all. Please keep them in Maldives, you dont know what will happen to them if you send them back, they maybe hanging from a crane. They are muslims, Please mr President, Please Dr Shaheed. If you want good name and prestige to this country dont send them back

  2. Dare I say that's a killer graphic accompanying this great piece of journalism? Real classy.

  3. @Hassan-Raha

    I don't think any innocent would be hanging only the pirates would get a sentence.

    If they are really pirate why would Maldives want to harbour them. It would be different matter if they were asylum seekers.

  4. @ Knox, looks like you are bit ignorant. Only the guilty get hanged in Iran... how many people have been hanged just because they protested in a demonstration? How many people have been hanged just because they said something against the grand ayatollah or Mr ahmedinejad? So, I dont know the fate of these crews if they are sent back. They maybe guilty of going into international waters.

  5. @Hassan-Raha

    so your saying that the folks on the boat are speaking out against the government of Iran, criticizing all the way when adrift. They must have been broadcasting there dissent on the small boat. Such freedom fighters.

  6. I agree with Hassan - Raha, Maldives is going beyond tourism Paradise and we are now marketing for Terrorism Paradise, we must keep the Hijackers and resettle them. We need to help our president to have the Noble Peace Price before he leaves office in 2013.

  7. Iranians have been interested in and fishing in the Maldivian waters for quiet some time!

    An Iranian company that had 3 identical persein trawling vessels were once doing this quiet well!

    They had one of their vessels buying fish from Maandhoo while the other two were trawling around in Laamu, Huvadhoo and Addoo seas! Once they have sufficient for transport, the vessel that has been buying go out to sea, collect the catches of the other two vessels that have been illegally catching our fish and leave for Iran! One of these emptied trawlers then again enter Laamu in the pretext to buy from Maandhoo!

    Some of these have entered Maldives with recorded catches of fish but the then authorities did not do or want to anything because of perhaps personal interests!

    It do not seem that Somali Pirates have not come this far yet!

    The real thing is putting fear first and then do the damage later!

  8. @ Knox, who knows? (Just like we do not know the exact background of Gitmo detainees) these people could be fleeing after critisizing Iranian Goverment.


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