Last week, Belgium managed to arrest the suspected leader of a Somali pirate group after luring him to Brussels with promises to make a documentary about his money-making life on the high seas, prosecutors said on Monday.
Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as “Afweyne” or Big Mouth, was detained when he arrived at Brussels airport on Saturday with another suspect identified as Mohamed M. A. or “Tiiceey”, federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle told a news conference.
Prosecutors said they decided to involve Belgian undercover agents after it became clear that an international arrest warrant would not be successful in capturing the men.
The prosecutor said Afweyne was asked via Tiiceey whether he would be prepared to be an advisor on a film about piracy, portraying his life carrying out hijackings off the East African coast and making millions of dollars from ransom payments.
Now whilst this little story might raise a rueful smile, piracy is, as you know, no laughing matter, so I thought I would combine this post with some information on anti-piracy resources.
- The International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) provides a free 24-hour service for seafarers, reporting actual or attempted attacks, or suspicious movements. It aims to raise awareness within the shipping industry of high-risk areas. The PRC works closely with various governments and law enforcement agencies and shares information in order to reduce and ultimately eradicate such crime and is funded by voluntary contributions.
- Last year the NATO-RUSSIA Council published a Glossary on Counter-Piracy (Russian-English, English-Russian).
- The Instituto Universitario de Estudios Marítimos at the Universidade da Coruña has published an English-Spanish Maritime Glossary.
- The Australian Government – Office of the Inspector of Transport Security – has published the Australian Shipping Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea Advisory Guidelines which include a wealth of information and terms, as well as acronyms and further reference material.
- The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights has published a briefing on Counterpiracy under International Law including definitions of legal concepts involved, examples of operations, applicable law, prosecution issues, and much more.