Mohammad Saaili Shibin,the Somali pirate responsible for negotiating the ransom of Indian seafarers and the sea vessels S/V Quest and M/V Marida Marguerite,was sentenced in U.S. federal court on August 13 to multiple life sentences for piracy and related criminal actions after being found guilty by a jury in a U.S. federal court on April 27, 2012.
The Indian crew members testified that they were brutally tortured while being held hostage by pirates.FBI worked with four Indian seafarers.All of them 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 successfully extracted a ransom payment for the vessel and its crew. Shibin received approximately $30,000 to $50,000 in U.S. currency as his share of the ransom payment.
Evidence at the trial also 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.
Daniel C. Clegg, the FBI Legal Attaché in New Delhi said: “The global reach of crime—like Somali piracy—is transforming the way law enforcement is required to operate in a hyper-connected world. Today, criminals try to hide behind national borders often believing they are beyond the reach of the law. Shibin’s arrest, swift trial, and multiple life sentences put international criminals on notice that they will be held accountable for their crimes and cannot hide behind borders.”
This investigation was conducted by the FBI with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Shibin was sentenced to 10 concurrent life sentences,two consecutive life sentences for the use of a rocket-propelled grenade and other automatic weapons during crimes of violence, 10 years consecutive on six counts charging discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, and two 20-year sentences for the remaining counts of discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.