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Bangladesh: Pirates run rampant in deep sea by Kazi Alim-uz-Zaman and Himel Barua August 10,2018   |  Source: Prothom Alo

Fishermen in Chattogram have pirates are making their lives impossible. These robbers seize their boats, take them hostage and demand ransom from the owners of the boats. Sometimes the sea pirates loot their fish and nets if the owner refuses to pay ransom. They also often beat up or even kill the fisherman. Twenty fishermen went missing in such incidents over one month. Locals think the pirates killed them. Pirates killed 32 fishermen and threw their bodies into the sea on 2 April in 2013.

Several fishing boat owners said, the coast guard responsible for their security did not take any action despite repeated complaints. These Prothom Alo correspondents found out that armed pirates attack trawlers in the deep sea. After seizing the boats they use the fishermen's mobile phones to demand ransom. Fishermen and boat owners in Bashkhai said that the main bastions of sea robbers are in coastal areas of Kutubdia, especially in Rimshakhali and Durumbazar area. President of the boat owners’ association, Yar Ali, spoke to Prothom Alo about this predicament.

“The pirates seize a boat, call its owner and demand ransom of Tk 200,000. If the owners disagree, they take away the fish and kill the fishermen. In most cases, the owners are left with no options but to pay the ransom,”

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)