Showing posts with label Somali Pirates .. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Somali Pirates .. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


In Somalia, the power struggle,  civil war and drought had completely destroyed  the nation since early nineties. The Government led by Mohamed Siad Barre was ineffective and the armed militants thrived in various parts of the country while the majority of poor people lived in abysmal poverty and neglect.

 Somalia has long coastline and fishing is  the main livelihood  of the  people especially after the collapse of State economy.The valuable Tuna fish is abundant in the Somali coast and in the absence of proper Governance  foreign ships in large numbers came to the Somali coast and began fishing in large scale from there especially the tuna fish, which naturally angered the local people and they started to attack the ships and chased them away.

This was how the poor Somali fishermen turned out to become the most powerful pirates of the sea They soon realized that hijacking a ship for a huge ransom is far more profitable than catching fish in the sea. The healthy young men from the fisher folk ventured out beyond their coastal areas in the sea in search of vulnerable ships. Since Somalia has no proper Government, the Pirates  used the coastal belt freely as their home ground.

It soon became a very profitable business. Immense money came into their hands. In course of time they not only became very rich but also powerful.  

 They use speed boat and rocket propelled grenades to attack a ship. The ships are rounded at night. The minimum asking ransom is five hundred thousand Dollars and it can extend to 2 or 3 million  according to the size of  the ship caught. The highest ransom paid to them was 11 Million by an oil tanker. There is no dearth of  ships in the sea and the pirates played with millions. The pirates while off 'duty' live in luxury. They build huge houses and changes cars in every 6 months. Eventually the Government itself started fearing them.

In last year alone the Somali pirates had held about 75 ships for ransom and almost every ship had to pay hefty ransom and since the asking ransoms are in millions one can imagine how lucrative the business was. As the sea is wide the pirates could do their business  comfortably.  Though Governments around the globe planned strategies against them the pirates did  their business uninterrupted.

 However though they are pirates of the first order, they show courtesy to the crew of the ship and give them food during period of hijack. They only want money and if a ship is ready to pay its way out they leave the ship without any bloodshed

The Pirates now in 2012:   The pirates' attack against ships came down drastically as most  ships arranged armed guards and the pirates do not go near such ships as it is suicidal. In 2012 ships numbering below ten were only attacked. The lack of ransom money is reflected on coastal areas of Somalia. The cash starved pirates are selling their Villas and cars to pay back debts .The prostitutes who made brisk business during the heyday are also disappearing.

In the balance sheet it should be also added that thousands of pirates caught in the act are in jails of various continents and  unknown thousands of them were dead or disappeared in the attacks. The fishermen of Somalia is returning to their old profession of catching fish other than ships.

 .Images from Google