Addu City, Maldives- The Media official of the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office and Public prosecutor Ahmed Shafeeu has said that 26 individuals involved in the hijacking of fishing vessel ‘Faskuri’ to prosecuted.
He added that the 26 hijackers, who are accused of going abroad the ‘Faskuri’ armed with knives and other sharp weapons, while it was catching bait around 11 Miles off the coast of L.Gan .
Police confirmed that this was due to an ownership dispute between the original owner of the vessel and Rich Club Maldives Pvt Ltd, which procured the vessel two years ago, but failed to complete the payment.
“It seemed as though they were really pirates. They threatened the captain and demanded that the vessel be taken to the harbor of L. Gan. They had hijacked the entire vessel. There was no way to call or answer any calls at first. But later on we managed to make a call from a small phone, to the Police Station in Meedhoo, in Addu City. We explained what had happened and asked them to send help” the fisherman said.
The vessel is reported to have reached L. Gan at around 03:00 in the morning.
“By the time we reached, Police had arrived to the harbor. Police noted the names of the hijackers and sent them off, before embarking the vessel and taking away all the weapons used by the hijackers” he said.
“This is what we do for a living. All 22 crew members on board have been traumatized by this. After this incident, there is no other way to describe it, other than that this seemed like pirates hijacking our vessel. This has become a big fear now” he further said.
This caused public outrage in Addu City, with many fishermen participating in a vehicle round in protest against piracy, hijacking and terrorism. In addition, the Addu City Council also called upon the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed and the Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture to speed up the investigation
Laamu Gan Magistrate Court had previously ordered that the vessel be temporarily handed over to the original owner of the vessel until a final verdict is reached.