Belgium says it has piracy kingpin behind bars

Associated Press
In this undated handout photo provided by the Belgian government, the Belgian ship Pompei, owned by De Nul, is shown in unidentified waters. One of Somalia's most notorious pirate leaders, Mohamed Abdi Hassan, was arrested in Brussels on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 and placed in custody pending charges, judicial sources said Monday. Hassan is suspected of the 2009 capture of the Belgian ship, the Pompei, which was held for over 70 days. (AP Photo/ Belgian Government)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities say they have arrested an alleged kingpin of modern-day piracy by luring him from Somalia on the promise of participating in a movie project on high-seas crime.

Instead of signing a contract as an expert adviser in the documentary project, Mohamed Abdi Hassan, aka Afwayne, was arrested at Brussels international airport over the weekend and immediately put behind bars.

Federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle said Monday that Abdi Hassan was charged with the hijacking and kidnapping of the Belgian ship Pompei and its crew of nine in 2009 and participating in a criminal organization. An alleged accomplice was also arrested.

The United Nations has called Abdi Hassan "one of the most notorious and influential leaders" of a major Somali pirate organization.