Sea Transportation: The Pirate Payment Network


May 7, 2006: Some of the Somali pirates have established a negotiating and money transfer network in the Persian Gulf. There, negotiations and payment can be quickly carried out. One captured ship, the San Carlos, was ransomed for $650,000 last Fall using this network. The ship was worth over $2 million, without its cargo of fuel oil, and carried a crew of 25. The hijackers probably paid a big percentage of the ransom to the network of people that negotiated the deal and got most of the money (in cash) back to Somalia. That kind of payday certainly encouraged the pirates to keep at it. There have been 41 reported pirate attacks off the Somali coast in the last year.


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