Nine incidents of robbing hilsa fish worth around Tk1 crore took place in the Bay of Bengal in Chattogram on Friday night.
ABM Mizanur Rahman, Chattogram Naval Police officer-in-charge (OC), and Aminul Haque Babul Sarkar, general secretary of Chattogram Fishery Ghat Sonali Mechanical Fishery Industry Cooperative Society, have confirmed the matter to The Business Standard.
The incidents took place in an area of 50 nautical miles of deep sea from Kalichar near Sandwip to Anwara-Banshkhali.
OC Mizanur said several pirate groups had separately participated in these robberies. The pirate groups, comprising 10-15 members each, attacked fishing trawlers and looted hilsa fishes from there.
The robbers came by old trawlers or fishing trawlers and hit the targeted fishing trawlers with their trawlers. They beat up the fishermen and locked them in engine rooms.
Hilsa fish worth Tk10 lakh to Tk15 lakh were looted from each of the trawlers, said the OC.
"We have advised the boat owners to file cases with the naval station concerned where the robberies took place," he said.
"Fishermen have told us what the pirates' boats look like. We are conducting drives to nab them. We have kept a watch on whether the looted fish are being sold or are being returned with them," he added.
Aminul Haque Babul Sarkar on Saturday said nine trawlers had been robbed, seven of which returned and two were returning, he continued.
"Hilsa fish worth about Tk1 crore had been looted. The engines of the trawlers had been disabled. So it is taking time to come back. Fishermen were beaten up a lot. The naval police are conducting drives," said Babul Sarkar.