Pirates have taken control of a Bangladesh bulker, Abdullah, with 23 crew on board, as it sailed towards the Somali coast. It is just the latest piracy incident being carried out by several groups of pirates now stalking the Indian Ocean in hijacked ‘motherships’.

The European Union’s Naval Force (Eunavfor), operation Atalanta, has confirmed details of the piracy incident involving the Bangladesh-flagged bulk carrier merchant vessel Abdullah on Wednesday.

Operation Atalanta confirms the piracy event and says it has been the first actor to respond.

Currently one Atalanta ship is shadowing the pirate vessel. Furthermore, Operation Atalanta is in contact with Bangladesh and Somali authorities, with their partners in maritime security in the area, such as the Indian navy and regional forces to coordinate the most efficient action.

“The situation on board is that pirates have seized and taken its 23-member crew hostage. The crew is safe, and the action is still ongoing. The ship is sailing towards the Somali coast,” Eunavfor said in an update.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) issued an advisory on Tuesday to shipping after receiving reports of an incident 600 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, in Somalia.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations said it received a report from a company security officer (CSO) about an incident on an unnamed vessel on Tuesday morning.

“Authorities are investigating,” UKMTO said in a statement, without revealing details about the name of the ship.

The company security officer reported that multiple persons from two craft, one large and one small, boarded the vessel.

UKMTO in its report said that unauthorised persons have control of the vessel. The maritime security information specialist warns that “vessels should transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO.”

Pirate activities have reemerged along the coast of Somalia, marking a resurgence after several years of diminishing incidents.

Ships are now advised to be vigilant in case of a sighting and implement counter-piracy Best Management Practices.