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US jails pirate who negotiated ransom

The Indian crew members testified that they were brutally tortured while being held hostage by pirates.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 25, 2012 1:34:27 am

A US court has sentenced a Somali national to multiple life sentences for negotiating ransom for Indian and American nationals held hostage on the high seas after four Indians testified before it in this regard.

Mohammad Saaili Shibin,the Somali pirate responsible for negotiating ransom for the seafarers and sea vessels S/V Quest and M/V Marida Marguerite,was on August 13 sentenced by US federal court to multiple life sentences for piracy and related criminal actions.

The Indian crew members testified that they were brutally tortured while being held hostage by pirates.

A statement from the US Embassy in New Delhi on Thursday said that the FBI worked with four Indian seafarers who testified that Shibin was the ransom negotiator for conspirators who pirated the M/V Marida Marguerite,a German-owned vessel with a crew of 22 men who were held hostage off the coast of Somalia from May to December 2010.

Shibin spoke with the owners of the M/V Marida Marguerite and extracted a ransom payment for the vessel and its crew. Shibin received $30,000 to 50,000 as his share of the ransom.

“Evidence at the trial showed that Shibin was the person who negotiated on behalf of the pirates during the hijacking of the S/V Quest wherein four hostages were shot and killed,” the statement said.

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