February 26, 2012

"Somali piracy still cost the world economy between $6.6bn and $6.9bn last year"

Guardian "The Somali pirates did not have a good year in 2011, statistically speaking at least." by Nick Hopkins and Clar Ni Chonghaile

'According to NATO, they only managed four successful attacks off the coast of the country, and only one in the Gulf of Aden, just further north.

'They had more luck in the more distant waters of the Arabian sea, where they captured 19 ships, and attempted to take almost 50 others. And therein lies the worry for all the nations that have supported efforts to rein in criminals who have demanded – and received – millions of dollars in ransoms for the ships and crews they have hijacked.

'There is a whiff of desperation about the pirates at the moment. They are travelling further afield and taking more risks, after finding the tactics that worked in the past are bearing less fruit, particularly now merchant ships can carry armed security teams that fight machine-gun fire with machine-gun fire. But nobody expects the pirates to go away, or to give up. "Earning $10,000 for a Somali is like winning the lottery," said one western official. "The question is, what are they going to do next? How are they going to adapt?"'

See also: Somali piracy still cost the world economy between $6.6bn and $6.9bn last year

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