Mohammad Saaili Shibin, considered to be the highest ranking pirate to be ever captured by U.S. authorities received 12 life sentences for his role in seizing an American yacht and a German merchant vessel.
On Monday, a U.S. federal judge ordered the pirate to serve the life sentences and that he is lucky that he did not face death penalty.
Mohammad Saaili Shibin has ties with overseas sources who finance pirate operations in a considerably lawless Somalia. Shibin’s charges include killing of four Americans aboard the Quest in 2011 and torturing the crew of another vessel for higher ransom in 2010.
In a courtroom in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar sentenced Shibin to 10 concurrent life sentences, two consecutive life sentences and two 20-year life sentences plus $5.4 million in restitution.
Eleven other men who boarded the Quest have pleaded guilty of hostage & murder charges. They have already been sentenced to life in prison. But prosecutors will seek the death penalty of three other pirates involved in the killing of the Americans.
In February 2011, Somali pirates took an American yacht by force, holding hostage its occupants Jean and Scott Adam of California and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle from Seattle. Despite efforts by the U.S. military to negotiate their release, they were ultimately shot. Shibin was one of the key persons involved in negotiating the ransoms.
Shibin was also involved in the M/V Marida Marguerite seize in 2010. The 22 men aboard the German ship were held hostage and tortured for seven months for higher ransom.
Image Credit: U.S.Navy