DOJ: Alleged Somali Hostage Negotiator Indicted for Piracy

Monday, August 22, 2011

22 Men Held Hostage for Seven Months as Alleged Negotiator Secured Ransom Paid for Release


The man accused of being the negotiator for the ransom of four U.S. citizens held hostage on the high seas has been indicted for his alleged role in successfully extracting a ransom for a separate vessel and 22 hostages held by Somali pirates.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office; and Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement.

“Mr. Shibin is alleged to be among the select few who are entrusted with one of the most important tasks in Somali piracy – ensuring a ship’s owners pay the maximum amount of ransom possible for the release of a hijacked vessel,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “The ransom paid for the Marida Marguerite capped a year where authorities estimate pirates received more than $100 million in ransom payments. The role he’s accused of fulfilling for pirates on the Marida Marguerite is the same role he allegedly intended to fill for the Quest. This case is aimed at the heart of the piracy business, striking at the small group of men who make receiving millions from piracy a reality.”
“During the seven month ordeal, Mr. Shibin allegedly successfully negotiated a large ransom for the release of twenty-two crew abroad the Marida Marguerite,” said FBI ADIC Fedarcyk. “The negotiator has the most important job in the piracy business, extorting the most money possible for the ship and crew.  As pirates operate during this period of instability in Somalia, the FBI will continue to apprehend all those involved, from Puntland villages to the Arabian Sea.”

Mohammad Saaili Shibin, a/k/a “Khalif Ahmed Shibin,” a/k/a “Shibin,” 50, of Somalia, was indicted on March 8, 2011, by a federal grand jury in Newport News, Va., in association with the alleged pirating of an American yacht, the S/V Quest, and taking hostage four U.S. citizens, who were ultimately killed before their release could be secured.

Today, Shibin was charged in a 15-count superseding indictment accusing him of serving as 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. According to the indictment, Shibin spoke with the owners of the Marida Marguerite and successfully extracted a ransom payment for the vessel and its crew. The indictment states that Shibin received approximately $30,000 to $50,000 in U.S. currency as his share of the ransom payment.

Shibin was also charged with additional counts related to the attack on the Quest. A full list of the charges included in the superseding indictment and their penalties are provided below:

    * Two counts of piracy under the law of nations, which each carry a mandatory penalty of life in prison.
    * Two counts of conspiracy to commit hostage taking, which each carry a penalty of up to life in prison.
    * Two counts of hostage taking, which each carry a penalty of up to life in prison.
    * Two counts of conspiracy to commit violence against maritime navigation, which each carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
    * Two counts of violence against maritime navigation, which each carry a mandatory penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
    * Conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
    * Kidnapping, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
    * Three counts of use, carry, and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, the first count of which carries a mandatory minimum 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, and the latter two counts of which carry mandatory consecutive life sentences.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s New York Field Office and Norfolk Field Office, with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In addition, U.S. Attorney MacBride expressed his appreciation for the close coordination and cooperation of German judicial and police authorities in building the latest charges involving the Marida Marguerite.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin L. Hatch, Joseph E. DePadilla, and Brian J. Samuels from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Paul Casey of the Counterterrorism Section in the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that an indictment only contains charges and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.
 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Syncrude Uncertain about Plant Fire Affecting Production

The operator of Canada's largest synthetic crude project said on Saturday it is investigating the causes of an early morning fire at an upgrading plant. Firefighters extinguished the blaze,

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

Coast Guard

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Maritime Safety

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

People in the News

New Satcom Global Website in Oceania

Today, Satcom Global launched its Australian website, www.satcomglobal.com.au, which will offer a platform to better support our valued channel partners and customers in the region.

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

Government Update

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Oil Steadies as Equities Rally

Recovering stock markets boost oil prices; U.S. crude on track for first weekly gain in nine weeks. Oil prices steadied on Friday after bouncing back from six-and-a-half-year

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.5588 sec (2 req/sec)