The ship Abdullah, captured over a month ago by pirates, has been released along with its 23 crew. The European Union Naval Force (Eunavfor) in a statement on 15 April confirmed the release of the 23 crew members of the merchant vessel Abdullah and the ship.

To remind, pirates seized and taken its 23-member crew hostage last month. Throughout the 32 days of captivity of the sailors, Operation Atalanta has been actively engaged monitoring the situation.

Operation Atalanta was the first actor to respond to the hijacking of the vessel on 12 March, where one Atalanta vessel, started shadowing the alleged pirated vessel.

Since the end of November 2023, multiple incidents involving piracy and hijacking have taken place in the Somali basin.

Recently, there has been a notable surge in reported events that could potentially escalate into piracy attacks off the Somali coast.

Three merchant vessels have been assaulted, one of which became under pirate control for nearly a month (M/V Abdullah captured on 12 March and released on the 14 April).

Additionally, several vessels have reported suspicious approaches. Up to 18 dhows have been hijacked. A number of them have been released, but up to six – seven may still be in the hands of their captors, as it is reported by Eunavfor.

Atalanta’s has identified several possible pirate camps on the Somali Coasts situated between Xaafuun and the village of Garacad, with a hot spot north of Eyl, where the M/V Ruen and the recently pirated Abdullah had been at anchorage for several weeks.

Operation Atalanta estimates that one or more pirate action groups (PAGs) at least could be sailing off the Somali coast, at the area around Socotra Island.

“Although there have been no piracy-related incidents in the past seven days, the payment of ransom could create a new wave of Dhow hijackings which in their turn they will create future skiff attacks on M/V etc,” Eunavfor said in its statement.

“Considering the occurrence of previous significant attacks on merchant vessels within 12 days after reports of dhow hijackings, and the reports of multiple skiffs, each carrying armed individuals with the intent to capture dhows. ATALANTA continues to assess the threat as Moderate (where an attack is a Realistic Possibility) off the Somali coasts.”