The worlds of international piracy and film rarely intersect outside of Paul Greengrass’ shaky camera, but Belgian authorities decided to make an exception. Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a Somali kingpin behind dozens of commercial hijackings over the last few years, and recipient of millions of dollars of ransom money, was arrested over the weekend in Belgium. What brought Hassan to the low country? Well, Belgian authorities constructed a sting operation in which they created a fake documentary about international piracy. They then had one informant talk to another, who talked to a dude who he knew, who mentioned to Hassan that this film wanted to bring him in as a consultant on the project.
Hassan flew into Brussels, where he was immediately arrested.
There are so many levels of stupidity to these actions that one begins to be deeply concerned about how such a mastermind was able to hijack dozens of ships. Hello, we would like to hire you as a consultant in our movie about piracy in east Africa, but we’re filming it in Europe, naturally. This is as if the LAPD set up a real version of one of those Not A Cop Twitter feeds and actually caught someone using it.
Captain Phillips could not be reached for comment, as the apparent skill level of the pirate leadership has convinced him of the lucrative reality of flying to Somalia and becoming a pirate king.