London: Somalia pirate Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as ‘big mouth’, has decided of moving on after being in the piracy game for eight years.
He said that they have been in the dirty business for a long time and tasted the bitterness and bad consequences, adding that he and other comrades finally decided to quit.
According to the Telegraph, last year he was described as ‘one of the most notorious and influential leaders’ in Somalia’s pirate-hub region of Hobyo, in a report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.
His men were reportedly involved in the 2009 capture of the MV Faina, a Ukrainian transport ship carrying 33 refurbished Soviet-era T-72 battle tanks, and which was released after a 134-day hijack for a reported three million dollars, the report said.
He was also reported to be involved in the 2008 capture of the Saudi-owned Sirius Star supertanker, also released for a ransom of several million dollars, the report added.
Speaking at a ceremony in the central Somali region of Adado, he said he has also been working to persuade other pirates to follow his example to quit sea banditry.
According to the report, Somalia has been ravaged by a relentless conflict since 1991, and a lack of effective central authority has allowed pirate gangs, extremist militia and other armed groups to control mini-fiefdoms.
However, piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia have plummeted to a three-year low thanks to beefed up naval patrols, the report added.