A Somali ransom negotiator has received 12 life sentences in the US for his role in the hijacking of the Marida Marguerite tanker.
Mohammad Shibin was convicted in April on 15 charges including piracy, hostage taking, kidnapping and conspiracy.
He was paid $30,000 to $50,000 in cash for his negotiating services, including talks over a seized US yacht on which four US citizens died, according to a federal indictment.
In a courtroom in Norfolk, Virginia, US district judge Robert Doumar sentenced Shibin to serve 10 concurrent life sentences, two consecutive life sentences and two 20-year sentences and ordered him to pay $5.4m in restitution.
“Mohammad Shibin was a key participant in two of the most heinous acts of piracy in modern memory,” US attorney Neil MacBride said.
“Shibin’s multiple life sentences should put all pirates on notice that the justice department will hold you accountable in a US courtroom for crimes on the high seas.”
Prosecutors said Shibin was among an elite group whose skills were needed to negotiate ransoms.
The 13,300–dwt Marida Tankers ship (built 2008) was held in 2010, with torture of the 22 crew reported.