35 captured Somalian pirates heading to Mumbai | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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35 captured Somalian pirates heading to Mumbai

Mar 20, 2024 06:58 AM IST

Indian Navy ship INS Kolkata—a ship of the western naval command which was deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations—will arrive in Mumbai on Saturday morning with 35 pirates on board who will be handed over to the Yellow Gate police, said a naval spokesperson

MUMBAI: Indian Navy ship INS Kolkata—a ship of the western naval command which was deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations—will arrive in Mumbai on Saturday morning with 35 pirates on board who will be handed over to the Yellow Gate police, said a naval spokesperson. The ship is based in Mumbai.

35 captured Somalian pirates heading to Mumbai
35 captured Somalian pirates heading to Mumbai

The pirates were nabbed on March 16 after a 40-hour combat by the Indian Navy and marine commandos air-dropped by the Indian Air Force. Pirates have been attacking many ships, and have targeted some with drones.

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INS Kolkata, by intercepting M V Ruen on March 16, thwarted the designs of the Somali pirates to hijack ships transiting through the region. The Bulgarian-owned merchant vessel had been hijacked in December 2023 and was under the control of the Somali pirates till now.

The Indian Navy, as part of maritime security operations, has been carrying out extensive surveillance in the region, including monitoring traffic in areas of India’s interest. Based on the analysis of the surveillance information, it was able to track the movement of M V Ruen, and directed INS Kolkata to intercept the ship at approximately 260 nautical miles east of Somalia.

The ship was intercepted on the morning of March 15, and confirmed the presence of armed pirates through a ship-launched drone. In a reckless hostile act, the pirates shot down the drone and fired at the Indian naval warship. In a calibrated response, INS Kolkata disabled the ship’s steering system and navigational aids, forcing the pirate ship to stop.

The Indian navy ship undertook precisely measured actions while maintaining its position close to the pirate ship and also engaged in forceful negotiations, which resulted in all 35 pirates surrendering and releasing M V Ruen. All the 17 original crew members of M V Ruen were also safely evacuated from the pirate vessel without any injury. The vessel has been sanitised of illegal arms, ammunition and contraband.

The efforts of the Indian Navy in the ongoing anti-piracy operation 1,400 nautical miles (2,600 km) from mainland India were augmented by the deployment of INS Subhadra in the area on March 16 and also by air-dropping marine commandos by C-17 aircraft the same afternoon. Additionally, the pirate vessel was kept under surveillance by the P 8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

M V Ruen was carrying approximately 37,800 tonnes of cargo estimated at around one million dollars. The pirates will be booked under the Maritime Piracy Act by the Yellow Gate police in Mumbai.

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