What do pirates do with their earnings after hijacking a ship for ransom? Simple: they form a syndicate to get the most out of their investments:
Reuters: In Somalia’s main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.
It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations — and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.
Now if that doesn’t sound absurd enough, listen to what one former pirate is saying about the ordeal:
“Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 ‘maritime companies’ and now we are hosting 72. 10 of them have so far been successful at hijacking,” Mohammed said.
“The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials … we’ve made piracy a community activity.”