The Millionaires of Somalia

There must be a lot of millionaires in Somalia considering the number of successful ship hi-jackings that have taken place in recent times. Although few organizations admit to actually paying a ransom to get their ships and crew back, they all do.

There is an entire industry in London England that deals with paying ransom demands by pirates. It involves many lawyers, negotiators and security personnel, all of whom make a living from this sordid practice.

It is estimated that the cost for their services approximately doubles the ransom paid, which is usually between $1 and $2 million. An awful lot of people are making a huge amount of money out of this piracy, and they are not all pirates!

Lawyers of course don’t take any risks, that is left up to the security specialists, because the most hazardous part is always delivering the money. The normal method is to transport the cash by small ship or boat to the captured vessel. The only trouble with that apparently, is that the delivery boat may get held up by other pirates.

Last November the ransom for The Sirreus Star oil tanker was delivered by parachute. Safer for the delivery boys providing it lands on the ship.

Last year alone a total of $50 million was paid for the safe return of dozens of ships and crews that had been seized. It is estimated that some $15 million of that was ‘For Services Rendered”.

According to most experts this is a purely criminal activity, and if lawyers are involved you can bet it is! However, a Kenyan Arms Analyst, Bruno Schiemsky believes much of the ransom money goes to a radical Islamic Group called Al-Shabab. Apparently, the pirates pay a large percentage to this group. I wonder what they use it for??

What really amazes me, is the presence of warships from various nations do not seem to deter these people, but today I read a news article that explains it all. When the Navy ships capture these pirates, they let them go!

In the last two days alone, Somali Pirates caught by the Navies of Canada, The Netherlands and the USA in the act of trying to board and hi-jack ships, or were holding hostages, had been captured and then released!

In today’s news, it states that the pirates held this weekend by a Canadian warship were released because they could not be prosecuted under Canadian Law. Why Not? What about the International Law of the Sea? The report does not say why those captured by the Dutch and Americans were released.

It’s no wonder they sail back to their lair, re-arm, have a six-course dinner and a few glasses of champagne, before setting off again to take another vessel thereby ensuring their lifestyle is secure.

So far as I can tell from the news bulletins, there is only one pirate facing justice, and that is the survivor from the group that held hostage Captain Richard Phillips from the MV Maersk Alabamha last week. The other three were all shot dead by snipers from the American Warship USS Bainbridge. The survivor will be tried in Kenya.

The nations of the world will never solve the piracy problem around the Gulf of Aden and the East African coast with such pansy actions. There is only one solution in my view. Blow them out of the water and be done with it.

If every time one of their vessels sets sail and doesn’t return, the problem will go away overnight. Not even a pirate wants to go on a suicide mission!


When travelling the Middle East, it’s safer by air (usually)!

Roy.


2 Responses to “The Millionaires of Somalia”

  1. Phil Says:

    My sentiments exactly. Kill every single one before they board a single ship.
    End of piracy.

    Like

  2. Well said, but it would also be nice if the world was made more aware of these unfortunate situations or do something about it to make people aware of it and take more of a moral stance, spread the word somehow, though I know it is difficult, because we all like to be cosy at home, and find it easier to sit in front of the telly, watch the news and think of the poor people who are suffering this tragedy.

    Like

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