Somali pirate retires from life on high seas


Pirate attacks around the Somali coast decreased sharply this November.


Image released by US Navy

One of Somalia's most notorious pirates, named Big Mouth, has announced that he's quitting after an eight-year career of terrorizing on the high seas.

"After being in piracy for eight years, I have decided to renounce and quit, and from today on I will not be involved in this gang activity," said Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as "Afweyne" or "Big Mouth", during a press conference last Wednesday, AFP reported.

He's also attempted to encourage many of his friends to retire from piracy, The New York Times reported.

Is his retirement an indication that the international action against pirates is working? According to the International Maritime Organization, there's been a sharp reduction of pirate attacks in the Indian ocean in the last year. However, the IMB warns that Somalia's waters are still extremely high-risk.

However, it may not just be the stress of his "gang-activity" that caused Big Mouth to walk the plank to retirement. According to the Times, part of Big Mouth's decision to give up the pirate life may have been due to Somalia's recent move to arm him with a diplomatic passport. 

According to the AFP, eight boats and 139 hostages are still being held by Somali pirates.

For more on piracy in the waters off Somalia's coast check out GlobalPost's in-depth series, Pirate Wars.