20 years for "Pirate King"

Mohamed Abdi Hassan, dubbed the Somali pirate king, has been sentenced to twenty years in prison in his absence. Mohamed Abdi Hassan has been convicted for his role in connection with the piracy on board of the Belgian ship Pompeï in 2009.

Fellow Somalian Mohamed Moalin-Aden was sentenced to five years in connection with his involvement in a criminal organisation, but he was acquitted of charges relating to the piracy on board of the Pompeï. Belgium saw 13 million euros in profits from the gang not being seized due to a failure by the public prosecutor's office.

It was on 18 April 2009 that the good ship Pompeï was attacked in the Indian Ocean. Somali pirates were to blame. For over seventy days they held ten crew members captive. The crew was freed after some 2 million euros was paid in ransom.

Mohamed Moalin-Aden, aka Afweyne, was held responsible as the man who organised the seizure of the vessel. In 2013 he was enticed to come to Belgium by proposing he took part in a film project that merely existed in the minds of the detectives hot on his tracks. It was also then that Mohamed Moalin-Aden was detained.

Federal prosecutor Marianne Cappelle told the court: "Afweyne is a gangster of the worst sort."

The prosecutor failed to detail the amount of the seizures demanded in written documents. As a result the Bruges court was not able to seize any of the Somalians assets.