Former Somali pirate leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan 'Afweyne', who was once one of the most feared pirate leaders operating from Somalia, has been arrested in Brussels, Belgium, and placed in custody pending charges, AFP reported Monday (October 14th).
Afweyne was being held in Bruges after being detained at Brussels airport on Saturday following his flight from Nairobi.
Afweyne announced in January that he was quitting piracy after a highly profitable eight-year career, and was working to persuade other pirates to do the same.
Described last year by the UN as "one of the most notorious and influential leaders" in Somalia's pirate hub, he notably was involved in the 2008 capture of the Saudi-owned Sirius Star oil supertanker, released for a ransom of several million dollars.
Belgian media said he was suspected also of the 2009 capture of a Belgian ship, the Pompei, which was held for over 70 days.