Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Most wanted 'Carlos the Jackal' Somali pirate seized

The war on piracy in the Horn of Africa has received a major boost following the capture of one of the world’s most wanted Somali pirate leaders, Mohamed Garad.

Garad, a former British soldier, is said to have been arrested together with 12 other suspected pirates on April 4 by Iranian commandos after they hijacked a Chinese cargo ship.

The co-ordinator of the East African Seafarers Association, Mr Andrew Mwangura, said Garad was captured after the seizure of the Chinese vessel, Xianghuamen, last week.

Xianghuamen is a Panama-flagged general cargo vessel owned by Nanjing Ocean Shipping Company of China.

“Garad had been on the run for many decades. He was elusive and sly and had slipped out of all the security dragnets before. His capture is the greatest good news in the war against piracy and terrorism,” Mr Mwangura said yesterday.

'Old hand'

The coordinator described Garad as “an old, experienced hand and a role model in the piracy world”, who has been linked to hundreds of ship hijack cases in the Horn of Africa.

“To experts and those who knew Garad, he was like Carlos the Jackal in the crime world and Dedan Kimathi to the British colonialists, mysterious and never easy to capture,” Mr Mwangura said.

The arrest of the pirate leader, Mr Mwangura said, was confirmed by one of his cousins in Mogadishu.

Rescued Chinese crew aboard cargo ship Xianghuamen wave to a welcoming Chinese delegation near Bandar Abbas, Iran, April 7, 2012. One of Somalia's most wanted pirates was captured after Iranian commandos rescued the hijacked ship. PHOTO | XINHUA |
from africareview
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