‘Lootere’ Episode 1 Recap: Do The Somalian Pirates Hijack The Ship?

Lootere is the brand-new Disney+ Hotstar Original, which takes the viewer through the lives of Indian businessmen living and thriving in many African countries. The Indian population in coastal African countries is high, and several second and third-generation Indian businessmen are often born and raised in countries like Somalia and Kenya. Lootere specifically focuses on the illegal businesses carried out by a certain second-generation Indian businessman in Somalia and his struggle to remain powerful. Created by Hansal Mehta and Shailesh R. Singh, the show was released on March 22, 2024. 

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Spoilers Ahead


Who Was Vikrant Gandhi?

The show begins with Vikrant Gandhi talking about himself and the kind of life he has led in Somalia for the past many years. He is the head of the Mogadishu Port Authority, which would mean many illegal consignments make their way into Somalia because of him. He inherited the entire business from his father-in-law, Robert Shah, who was deemed the illegal King of Somalia. Vikrant always followed in the footsteps of his father-in-law, Robert Shah, who was to keep everything in check without any hassle. Vikrant was striving to be more powerful than Robert, and his road was paved with many obstacles. 

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Vikrant was surrounded by people like Gupta, who wouldn’t hesitate to give him a reality check in terms of the business, yet he never left his side all this time. Vikrant was aware he needed to impress many powerful people to retain his position as the President of the Mogadishu Port Authority. 


How Was Vikrant Trying To Retain His Position At The Mogadishu Port?

His campaign to convince the members of the Port Authority did not work in his favor. He wanted to retain his power over the port, and for that to happen, he would have to take help from locals like Taufiq, who could convince others at the port to vote for Vikrant. Vikrant’s rival for the election was Yakub, a businessman as well. Taufiq was brutally honest with Vikrant about people losing trust because of him and his people taking advantage of the power. Despite physically assaulting and threatening many people to speak in his favor, times were bad for Vikrant, and he had to find a way to get out of the mess and find a concrete solution. 

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Who Was On The Ship That Was Headed To Mogadishu?

The container ship owned by Vista, a Ukrainian-based company, was docked at the port of Djibouti and headed to its final destination, Mogadishu. It was a merchant navy vessel with several containers waiting to be delivered in Somalia. The captain of the ship updated his crew about the obstacles they might face in the form of pirates, which were a common sight on Somalian waters. The captain had his own team, which included two women. While one of them was a crew member, the other one was the spouse of one of the team members on board. The team  on board was predominantly Indians, and they were preparing to leave Djibouti. 


Why Was Vikrant Not Keen On Docking The Ship At Mogadishu?

Vikrant was informed by Gupta about the port authority, and several other members were aware of the contents of his consignment that was reaching Mogadishu. There was no direct mention of what the contents of the Ukrainian container could be, but it is implied it could either be narcotics, cash, or gold. Vikrant was in no mood to be exposed just before the port elections, and he was desperate to hold on to that seat of power. The seat gave Vikrant the authority to run the show by his own rules, but with his act being caught, he did not want anyone from the port to get their hands on the contraband that was being shipped, which could further allow them to discredit him. Vikrant’s only plan of action was to not dock the ship at Mogadishu but to divert the vessel without attracting any attention from his rivals. Vikrant was sure there were bigger players behind this stunt who did not want Vikrant to be the Port Authority President. Only time and further scrutiny would get Vikrant closer to the truth, which was to find out who was trying to sabotage his businesses. 

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Who Helped Vikrant During The Crisis?

Vikrant was in dire need of someone who could help him divert his shipment to a safer place where his line of work was not exposed. Ajay Kotwal, the owner of the shipping company in Ukraine, could not offer any aid. Vikrant had to turn to his last and fail-safe option, Bilal, who was residing in another town in Somalia. Bilal was operating from Harardhere, and the man took up the task to save Vikrant’s goods from being taken away. Vikrant was soon to be investigated for transporting illegal objects and was also facing audits and inspections on his existing goods docked at the Mogadishu Port. He was horrified by such acts as he had not been the center of attention for a long time.

Vikrant was informed about a tip from an unknown call that forced the authorities to go after his consignment. To avoid further drama, the only solution remaining was to move the consignment to another port until matters at Mogadishu simmered down and Vikrant was reelected as the Port Authority President.

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Do The Somali Pirates Hijack The Ship?

The Somali pirates were on their way to attack the Ukrainian vessel, and they had allowed themselves to be spotted by the crew, who were prepared for a situation like this but did not anticipate it. As the captain asked all the crew to move to the citadel and safeguard the containers on board, the crew tried their level best to stall the pirates from boarding the ship. The pirates, however, were instructed to only hijack the ship and make sure no one was killed in the process. Several volatile men were only too excited to be a part of the job assigned to them and hoped things would work out as planned. The pirates at one point fired a bazooka at the barge, but the man responsible was admonished for his act. The pirates were to keep the ship in one piece and make sure the crew was alive and not hurt.

The captain’s attempt to stop the pirates from boarding the ship did not work, and it was only a matter of time until they were on the deck and entered the control room of the ship. The women were moved away to the citadel to avoid being subjected to unspeakable horrors. It is implied that women could be subjected to assault of a sexual nature. The only female employee was kept away from the actual scene of action, and she was frustrated as her skills were ignored and underestimated.

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Lootere episode 1 ends with the Captain and Mudit, the cadet who were on board, hoping to cooperate with the pirates, who certainly entered with an agenda. Mudit had asked his colleagues about the existence of pirates, and he was petrified to have them on board. As the pirates entered the control room on deck, the engine of the ship malfunctioned, and it remained still for a while. The Somali pirates were now in control of the ship, and they were hunting for the rest of the crew. 


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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