Somali pirate given life in prison

NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A Somali pirate was given multiple life prison terms Monday for his role in the high-seas takeovers of an American yacht and a German vessel.

During his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va., Mohammad Saaili Shibin was slapped with 10 concurrent life sentences for piracy and two consecutive life sentences for the use of a rocket propelled grenade and automatic weapons during crimes of violence, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release. He also received 10 years consecutive on six counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and two 20-year sentences other firearms counts.


Shibin also is to pay about $5.4 million in restitution.

Shibin had been found guilty by a federal jury on April 27 in the hijacking of the the S/V Quest, and the Marida Marguerite.

"Mohammed Shibin was a key participant in two of the most heinous acts of piracy in modern memory: Last year, his confederates seized the S/V Quest and murdered four defenseless Americans, and in 2010 the crew members of the M/V Marida Marguerite were brutally tortured by Shibin and his pirate conspirators to extract a $5 million reward," U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said. "The Somalia piracy criminal enterprise could not function without skilled negotiators like Shibin and his multiple life sentences should put all pirates on notice that the Justice Department will hold you accountable in an U.S. courtroom for crimes on the high seas."


He noted Shibin is the 18th Somali pirate his office has convicted.

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