Pirate chief arrested


A notorious Somali pirate leader whose iconic photograph helped define the image of modern piracy has been captured by Somali security forces.

Mohamed Garfanji said to be the leader of a gang that extracted a $9m ransom for the release of the laden 319,000-dwt tanker Samho Dream (built 2002) was detained along with bodyguards in Mogadishu.

He is said to be the second most important of Somali pirate leaders and to be behind the seizure of at least half a dozen merchant ships.

He was depicted in the British newspaper the Sunday Times in 2010 with a machine gun on his shoulders and ammunition belts across his torso.

He was said to be 30 years old at the time but already the leader of a small army and depicted himself as a “Robin Hood” who had turned to piracy as a result of poor Somali fishermen being forced from the sea by industrial trawling.

The ransom although apparently paid by Groupement d’Assurances de Risques Exceptionnels (Garex) the French war risks pool is said to have played a part in Samho Shipping’s bankruptcy filing.

The US and the Seychelles government are reported to want to interview Garfanji over attacks on their ships and citizens.


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