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MOVIE OFFER TRAPS ALLEGED SOMALI PIRATE

October 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

If the screenplays of Argo and Captain Phillips were meshed, the scenario for what occurred in Brussells over the weekend could conceivably have been brought about. On Saturday Belgian authorities arrested Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a Somali pirate leader, as he stepped off a flight at the Brussels airport. In 2009 a dozen pirates, allegedly led by Hassan, attacked the Belgian ship “Pompei” and kept the crew hostage for more than 70 days. Later efforts to arrest Hassan proved futile, and Belgian federal police eventually worked up a sting operation to lure him to Belgium by posing as film producers and getting word to him that they wanted him “to collaborate as adviser and expert in the matter on a film about maritime piracy,” according to Johan Delmulle, a Belgian federal prosecutor. Delmulle told the New York Times that Hassan was told that the movie “was to reflect his life as a pirate.” Police, the Times said, worked with Hassan “for months” on the film project before he agreed to travel to Belgium. Upon his arrest, he was charged with kidnaping, organized crime, and piracy.