A Proposed Movie Deal for a Piracy Suspect Has a Surprise Ending: His Arrest

A pirate simply can’t resist the chance to be the subject of a movie.

A movie deal you say?

A movie deal you say?

A man suspected of being a pirate mastermind arrived in Brussels on Saturday expecting to sign a deal for a movie about his swashbuckling past in the Somali piracy business. Instead, he found himself under arrest, charged with kidnapping, organized crime and, of course, piracy.

Johan Delmulle, a Belgian federal prosecutor, said Monday that Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a pirate leader also known as Afweyne, had been arrested as he left a flight at the Brussels airport. Mohamed Aden, described as his accomplice, was also arrested.

Mr. Hassan “is considered by the international community, notably the United Nations, one of the most important pirate leaders, responsible for a dozen attacks,” Mr. Delmulle said. United Nations investigators called Mr. Hassan a “notorious and influential” pirate leader. Mr. Aden, who faced the same charges, was accused of having supported what is suspected to be Mr. Hassan’s piracy operation.

In 2009, a dozen pirates attacked a Belgian ship, called the Pompei, about 700 miles off the coast of Somalia. They held the crew, including two Belgian officers and a Dutch captain, in what Mr. Delmulle described as “inhumane conditions, leaving their families in total uncertainty about their fate.”

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