Former Somali piracy kingpin lured into Belgium, jailed

2016-03-14 19:57


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - A former Somali piracy kingpin was sentenced on Monday to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court, after having been lured to the European country in 2013 for a fictitious film project, the Belga news agency reported.

Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as Afwayne, was suspected of having led the pirates who took hostage the crew of the Belgian ship Pompei in 2009. The United Nations had also named him a major figure in piracy.

Belgian police launched an undercover operation to persuade him that they were planning a movie about his life as a famous pirate. Hassan thought he was flying to Belgium in 2013 to sign up for the film project, but was instead taken into custody upon arrival.

A Belgian court in the northern city of Bruges on Monday sentenced the 58-year-old to 20 years in prison for having hijacked the Pompei off the coast of Somalia, as it had been on its way to South Africa for dredging works. He was also found guilty of torture, Belga wrote.

The Pompei's 10 crew members were taken hostage for more than 70 days by Somalian pirates, who managed to extort a ransom of about €2m, according to Belga.

Hassan is expected to appeal the ruling, which also orders him to pay €20 000 to the Dutch captain of the Pompei and his family.

Another suspect who was arrested together with Hassan in 2013 was also sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for having played a role in a criminal organisation. Mohamed Moalin-Aden, 44, was, however, acquitted of the Pompei hijacking, Belga reported.

Piracy has been in decline along the Horn of Africa thanks to international naval patrols.

Read more on:    belgium

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.