Somali ‘Pirate King’ Gets 20 Years of Prison

The notorious Somali pirate leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan, aka Afweyne, has been sentenced to 20 years of prison for his involvement in the hijacking of the Belgian dredger MV Pompei in 2009.

Namely, the Bruges Criminal Court sentenced the so called King of Somalian pirates in absentia together with his accomplice Mohamed Moalin-Aden, who was given a 5-year sentence, Belga news agency informed. The latter was found guilty of involvement in a criminal gang, but was acquitted of being involved in the hijacking.

The ship was hijacked around 105 km north of the Seychelles with 10 crew members on board in April, 2009 who were held hostage for two months until a ransom of EUR 2 million was paid.

The Somali “pirate king” was lured into Belgium in 2013 having been offered a fictitious role in a movie within the framework of an undercover operation. Having arrived to the country, Hassan was immediately arrested. The Monday ruling also convicts Hassan of torture and orders him to pay EUR 20,000 compensation to the Dutch captain of the dredger.

The defendant is expected to appeal the ruling.

World Maritime News Staff

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