Family members of seven Bangladeshi sailors, who were recently freed from abduction, are counting down days to be reunited after more than three and a half years.
The seven Bangladeshi crew disappeared along with MV Albedo on November 26, 2010 when Somali pirates hijacked the Malaysian flagged vessel. A foreign ministry official yesterday confirmed that Somali pirates have freed the Bangladeshis and they are expected to join their families in Bangladesh soon.
Four of the sailors are Golam Mostafa, son of Sheikh Md Hossain; Habibur Rahman, son of Iman Ali Sardar; Nurul Haque, son of late Sobhan Sardar; and Abul Kashem, son of Abdur Rouf. All of them hail from Satkhira.
Aminul Islam, son of Abul Kalam, and Jakir Hossain Rajib, son of Nazrul Islam, are from Chittagong while Limon Sarkar, son of Abdul Wali Ullah, hails from Chandpur.
Mostafa's wife Salma Begum said it was hard for her to believe when she learnt about their release through television on Saturday. “But when he called me over the phone, I broke down in tears,” she said.
Salma quoted Mostafa as saying, “I'm safe, don't worry; I will be back home soon.”
Father of Kashem in a choked voice said, “My son is returning home after three years and I do not want anything more.”
Habibur's mother had a broken heart and never recovered, said his father, adding that she passed away recently with the hope to see her son at least once unfulfilled.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) authorities and Bangladesh High Commission in Nairobi will receive the freed sailors in Nairobi initially, where they will undergo check-ups.
Preliminary reports received from the Bangladesh High Commission confirmed that all seven are in good health and will be staying at a local hotel. The high commission has already been instructed to prepare their travel documents.
As soon as the required formalities are completed by the UNODC, the high commission will arrange their return to Bangladesh.