Maritime News

Life prison sentence for Somali pirate

28 April 2017

A US court has sentenced a Somali pirate to life imprisonment plus 10 years for his role in a pirate attack on the USS Ashland navy ship in April 2010. He had been conviction by a federal jury in February 2013.

Mohamed Farah was one of seven pirates who had set out in the Gulf of Aden to capture a vessel for ransom but who attacked the USS Ashland instead, mistaking it for a cargo vessel. US naval personnel returned the pirates’ fire, destroying their skiff and killing one pirate. The surviving pirates were rescued and taken to the USA for prosecution.

The other pirates involved in this incident have received prison sentences of between 15 years and life plus 30 years. 

Although there has been a sharp reduction in attacks by Somali pirates since this case, there are worrying signs that piracy in the region is starting up again. In a recent incident, on 22 April, logged with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) worldwide Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC), six armed men in a skiff chased and fired on a tanker around 5.7 nautical miles off Somalia. The master raised the alarm and sent a distress message, to which a warship responded. The skiff chased the tanker for nearly two hours but moved away as the vessel was taking continuous evasive manoeuvres. One crew member was reported injured.


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:



Related press

Press Area


Back to current news online stories