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Monday, October 14, 2013

Somali Pirates: "Reformed" Pirate Arrested in Belgium

Well, last week we had a little fun with his conversion from pirate to "counter-pirate" in Somali Pirates: Stranger than fiction. Now, the pirate whose nickname is "Big Mouth" finds himself under arrest, as the BBC reports in "Prominent Somali pirate 'arrested in Belgium'":

A man alleged to be one of Somalia's most influential pirate leaders has been arrested in Belgium, media reports say.

They said Mohammed Abdi Hassan, also known as Afweyneh (Big Mouth), was held at Brussels airport after arriving on a plane from Kenya.
***He is believed to have earned millions of dollars in ransom payments as a result of acts of piracy.

The suspect is said to have been arrested at the same time as another alleged pirate; it remains unclear what the two men were doing in Belgium.
Belgian vessels have in the past taken part in international missions against piracy on the high seas off Somalia.

In a UN report leaked last year, it was alleged that Afweyneh was "one of the most notorious and influential leaders of the Hobyo-Harardhere Piracy Network".
Unstated in the article. of course, is the degree of effectiveness of the Kenyan airport security screening which let this guy get on an airplane.

I figure about 15 years in jail, but if any of the captive sailors from the hijacked ships testify, it could get worse. While the Somalis keep them alive (for the most part), the conditions are often not pleasant. Perhaps a term trapped on a ship anchored off Somalia with no functioning a/c, etc would be just the ticket.

Probably too cruel under Belgium law.

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