Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pirate Central

Wired has a report from "Pirate Central" in Somalia. This except show how little things have changes since the Golden Age of Piracy.
The conditions have to be right before pirates will head out "shopping" for a cargo ship to rob: a moonless night, a lull in patrols, and enough money to buy weapons and fuel for the motorized canoes.
Once they identify a suitable victim, seven to nine men don ski masks and black shirts, motor out into international waters, sidle up to the ship, and climb on board using a long bamboo pole with a hook on one end.
They threaten the captain and crew with long machetes, then steal all the money in the ship's safe… If they succeed in getting the cash, each pirate can clear between $600 and $2,000.
Agus and his partners have a hard time saving what they steal.... That's because pirates here are notorious for spending their booty on "happy-happy" — that is, a night of boozing and girls-for-hire. Agus' weakness is a woman named Yuna who works in a dance troupe that travels from island to island and charges men to dance with them.

The Buccaneers who accompanied Morgan's raid on Panama had the same problem. Most of them had spent their share of the loot in a few days.

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