Press release

Seychelles welcomes arrest of ‘Pirate Kingpin’, Mohamed Abdi Hassan, in Belgium

October 14, 2013

Mr. Joël Morgan, the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport and as well in his capacity as the Chairman of the High Level Committee for Piracy (HLCP), has welcomed the news of the arrest of “pirate kingpin” Mohamed Abdi Hassan in Brussels, Belgium.

From news sources in Belgium, “On Saturday morning, police at Brussels Airport arrested a Somali suspected of being the head of the group of pirates who had taken hostage in 2009, the crew of the Belgian ship “Pompeii” for more than 70 days.” “Mohamed Abdi Hassan, nicknamed “Afweyne” or “Bigmouth” in Somali, was arrested after he had arrived in Belgium on a plane from Nairobi, Kenya.”

“We were alerted of the arrest of the Mr. Hassan shortly after the incident occurred,” said the Minister.

Seychelles had itself issued an International Arrest Warrant which INTERPOL used as the basis for an INTERPOL Red Alert Notice on the suspect pirate kingpin, Mohamed Abdi Hassan, and had been actively engaged in bringing the suspect to justice here in the Seychelles.

“As I have said before, our aim as well is to go after those who finance and support pirate groups and who profit from the suffering of the hundreds of victims who were taken hostage and whose families or their employers, were made to pay ransom.  By going after the pirate leadership, the message is clear, and that is that they will not profit from their ill gotten gains, and they will not be able to hide from justice.” said Minister Morgan.

Mohamed Abdi Hassan is described in reports issued by the UN as the most infamous and most powerful of ‘pirates’, who ravaged the coast of Somalia in recent years, accumulating since 2005 millions of US dollars in ransoms.