Somali Pirate Arrested After Trying to Claim Asylum in Europe


A Somali migrant, alleged to have been involved in piracy incidents in 2010 and 2011, has been arrested after trying to claim asylum in Salzburg, Austria.

The 24-year-old asylum seeker was arrested by Austrian police earlier this week and is believed to have taken part in incidents off the coast of Somalia in which pirates captured two German ships, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports.

The Somalian was arrested on February 12th and was sent to jail in Salzburg prison in Puch near Hallein for ten days and is expected to be extradited to Germany.

According to investigators, he was involved in blackmail, gang-related activity, criminal extortion, and piracy between 2010 and 2011 when he was only 16 years old.

A spokesman for the Osnabrück public prosecutor said that the man had, along with others, captured and boarded the EMS River cargo ship on December 27, 2010, and kidnapped the eight-person crew. They released the crew several months later in March after a $3 million ransom was paid.

The second attack the Somalian is alleged to have been involved in occurred in April 2011 and saw him, along with others, attack the ship Susan K and once again kidnap their crew of ten people. The crew were subsequently let go in June after $3.5 million was paid to the pirates.

The case will not be the first in which Somalians are tried for piracy in Germany. In 2012, ten Somalis were found guilty of piracy and given various sentences.

After being released, several of the pirates applied for asylum in Germany and despite all five having their asylum claims rejected, they remained in the country because they lack passports and Somalia refused to issues them new ones.

Somalian asylum seekers have also been a much-discussed topic in Denmark after the country’s migration minister Inger Støjberg encouraged Somalians to return to their country and help rebuild it.

“If you no longer need our protection and your life and health are no longer at risk in your home country, and specifically in Somalia, you must, of course, return home and rebuild the country from which you came from,” she said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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