Puntland police capture key pirate leader in second anti-piracy operation this week



Puntland police and Somali security forces conducted an anti-piracy operation in Galkayo, arresting Abshir Abdi Kheyre Jowfe, 38, the commander behind the hijacking of the MV Abdalla. The arrest marks a significant step in the ongoing efforts to dismantle pirate networks in the region.

The operation took place in the Sinai area north of Galkayo following extensive planning and coordination between Somali security forces and Puntland police.

The MV Abdalla, carrying 23 Bangladeshi crew members, was hijacked and diverted to the Somali coast, where pirates fortified it with heavy artillery to deter rescue operations. Pirate groups increasingly use this tactic to maintain control over hijacked vessels. The crew was held hostage for weeks before being released following prolonged negotiations that culminated in a $5 million ransom. The talks involved multiple stakeholders, including the Bangladeshi government and international maritime organizations.

Mudug Regional Police Chief Col. Mohamud Abdihakin Yusuf emphasized the authorities’ commitment to combatting piracy and bringing all involved gangs to justice. Jowfe’s arrest is the third related to the MV Abdalla hijacking, highlighting the ongoing crackdown on pirate activities.

The Puntland police also announced on Monday that they had arrested Mohamed Sufi Rasas in Garowe, where he had been hiding for the past few days.

Following the ransom payment, the pirates dispersed into various cities in Puntland, with some relocating to coastal areas to plan further attacks on commercial ships.

The international community, including maritime organizations and naval forces, continues to monitor and respond to piracy threats off the Somali coast. The hijacking and subsequent ransom payment have prompted calls for enhanced naval patrols and security measures to protect commercial shipping routes.