Somali Pirate 'Big Mouth' Caught in Fake Movie Sting

PHOTO: Mohamed Abdi Hassan, one of Somalias most notorious pirate chiefs, speaks on April 24, 2013

An alleged Somali pirate kingpin was lured into custody by asking him to be an adviser on a Hollywood style movie that was supposed to be based on his life.

When the alleged pirate -- best known by the nickname Afweyne or Big Mouth -- arrived in Belgium, he was promptly arrested.

Belgian federal prosecutors say Mohammed Abdi Hassan is facing hijacking and kidnapping charges.

The charges stem from the 2009 hijacking of the Belgian dredger ship Pompei. The crew of the Pompei was held hostage for 10 weeks, and were not released until the ship's owner paid a large ransom.

"Several elements in the judicial investigation show that the so called Afweyne, played a central part in the hijacking and kidnapping of the Pompei, as organizer and financier," said Belgian prosecutor Johan Delmulle.

It seems Big Mouth could not pass up an opportunity for what he thought was a lucrative contract to work on a big-screen blockbuster.

Undercover agents lured Abdi Hassan, and an alleged accomplice who goes by the name Titsche, to Belgium by offering him a chance to be an adviser on a fake documentary about his own life.

Delmulle says the sting was months in the making. "We asked Afweyne, via Titsche, if he would be prepared to act as adviser and experience expert in a film project on maritime piracy. It would be a fictional story on his life as a pirate."

Abdi Hassan took the bait. When he and Titsche landed at the airport in Brussels they were arrested.

Abdi Hassan is considered to be the alleged mastermind behind a number of high profile hijackings carried out by Somali pirates, who take over ships and demand large ransoms.

Big Mouth fell for the prosecutor's scam as the movie "Captain Phillips" is being released about the American freighter captain who was rescued from Somali pirates by U.S. special forces.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The fake baby a man was carrying as he and another woman tried to sneak into the mother and baby unit at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, Calif., hospital officials said.
Dignity Health Security/Mercy Medical Center Merced
dpa, Jens Wolf/AP Photo
PHOTO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston stopped a would be smuggler from bringing nearly 7 ounces of cocaine into the country in tamales, Aug. 22, 2014.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
PHOTO: Giant panda Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday at the Smithsonians National Zoo, Aug. 23, 2014.
David Galen, Smithsonians National Zoo